Manti Te'o sure has Lance Armstrong beat
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Give Lance Armstrong this much credit: At least his story wasn't as preposterous as Manti Te'o's. Admittedly, the Notre Dame fabulist set a pretty high bar.
All Lance wanted us to believe was that, in a sport famously riddled with performance-enhancing drugs, he never once consumed a single banned substance as he pedaled into the Tour de France winner's circle seven straight times.
I mean, it COULD happen, right? Just like a star Notre Dame linebacker COULD suffer the pile-on tragedy of losing his beloved grandmother just as his girlfriend, freshly recovered from a near-fatal auto wreck, promptly dies of leukemia.
Could but didn't -- in either case.
The lid has finally been ripped off both these whoppers. But only one of those revelations comes as much of a surprise. For years, almost everyone in bike-racing knew Lance was lying when he said, when he insisted, when he swore he'd always raced clean. Even as his handlers and teammates built ironclad cases against him -- even as he hit his many accusers with lawsuits -- the evidence kept piling higher. All that was left was the final, grudging admission, which Oprah extracted Thursday night.
Manti Te'o's case is uniquely its own. For one thing, the football star says he was not the hoaxer -- he was the hoaxed. His version of exactly what happened is still a little squishy. But the All-American linebacker claims that his widely publicized "girlfriend" was an Internet concoction by unknown pranksters with unknown intent and unfathomable brilliance at pulling it off. And all the player's heartfelt embellishments were just -- what?
Perhaps he, too, will lay it all out for Oprah -- or someone -- and soon.
YOU MEAN. . .
1. CEOs are overcompensated?
2. Wrestling's fake?
3. Sports heroes aren't role models?
4. Politicians are corrupt?
5. Lance doped?
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THE NEWS IN SONG: "You think we're stupid? How dare you": Lies by Billy Talent, tinyurl.com/lanceteo
They are the genuine victims of the wobbly high-wire act that cost Long Island its only big(ish)-time sports franchise. Their pleas were ignored by thick-headed politicians and thick-skinned business tycoons, both sides too stubborn to make a deal. And there the fans were again, in their aging Coliseum on Saturday night, cheering their lame-duck hockey heroes through a second-to-last opening match on Long Island ice. The New York Islanders will start their 2015 season a million miles away in Brooklyn. The Long Island mourning has already begun.
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