Is The Manti Te’o Hoax Really The Worst Fake Internet Girlfriend Story Of All-Time?

I thought we all had a pretty great conversation about the Manti Te’o story yesterday – except the one or two commenters who sassed me – so I wanted to bring up two fun little updates to the story because they jumped out of my monitors this morning and smacked me in the balls.

For starters, one of the first points I made in my rambling mess of thoughts yesterday was that this is Deadspin’s baby from start to finish, because Jack Dickey (or Tom Scocca, according to Donald Trump) and Timothy Burke did a great job putting together a puzzle that neither Notre Dame nor ESPN wanted to even take out of the box, because (if they’re to be believed) both parties knew about this hoax for weeks.

However, there are other people out there trying to steal the Te’o show now, like the New York Post, which decided to do what Deadspin was too nice to do and expose the poor girl whose photos had been taken and used as the fake face of Lennay Kekua. So now this girl who had nothing to do with any of this nonsense, other than giving an old friend a picture because she thought it might make a cancer patient happy, is being harassed by reporters. For what? So they can have someone crying on camera as she shouts, “I don’t f*cking know anything”? Classy.

But now my favorite part. The part where I’m right.

In the 9th point of my astute craziness, I said that the most logical response for Te’o’s family would be to pin this all on Ronaiah Tuiasosopo and go after him hard to expose him as a fraud and scumbag. It appears that Te’o’s uncle has launched the first shot, so it should only be a matter of time before this guy is exposed for running scam charities and whatnot. Keep an eye on that story, because that’s going to be how Te’o gets out of this with nothing more than a scarlet M for Moron. (UPDATE: It appears that the wagons are fully circling Tuiasosopo now.)

That said, this whole ridiculous, awkward affair got me thinking about another, lower-profile fake girlfriend story, and of course I started comparing them to determine which is more pathetic. We already know the basic idea of the Te’o story:

A star college linebacker told people how he met this girl, the eventual love of his life, and she was in this awful car accident and then diagnosed with leukemia, but before she passed away, she told him to keep winning for her before adding, “Ok. Good-bye, Manti. Don’t call anymore. I’m dead now. Gotta go.” So he talked about her to anyone with a microphone all the way up to the BCS National Championship Game. But then Deadspin was like, “Yeah, so about that dead girlfriend…” and Te’o and Notre Dame were all like, “Oh yeah, we knew she was fake HEY LOOK OVER THERE!” before they all:

I think that’s probably the best summary I could write. But then there’s the story of Peter Coffin, a YouTube comedian and “Twitter celebrity” who rose to “fame” back in 2011 because he was apparently dating another up-and-coming “Twitter celebrity” named Kimi Kobayashi. I’ll let Jezebel describe what happened next:

Coffin, an aspiring comedian, insulted Singaporean model/blogger Xiaxue over Twitter. She blocked him, and then began getting insulting tweets from one Kimi Kobayashi. Coffin claimed Kobayashi was his eighteen-year-old Japanese girlfriend, and the two had extensive conversations over Twitter and YouTube, some focusing on attributes of Coffin’s penis. Kobayashi also posted twitpics of herself with various racist and unfunny captions about “Asians.” After a little digging, Xiaxue discovered that Kobayashi didn’t even exist — her pictures were actually of a Korean model, and Xiaxue suspected the entire thing was a ruse cooked up by Coffin himself.

Coffin followed that up with a Reddit AMA, through which he proclaimed his innocence in this “hoax”, but he previously boasted that he had slept with her, so it was basically concluded that he created this female identity as a way to 1) build his own brand with the help of an attractive woman and 2) make fun of Asians. Either way, have you ever heard of Coffin? Probably not.

So which is more pathetic – the star athlete who was possibly duped by a fake Internet girl (or was possibly in on it the whole time) who kept the story going for his own sake? Or the random Internet schlub who used a fake hot Asian girlfriend to make himself famous while giving himself an outlet for racist jokes? Tough call. So here’s Kate Upton bouncing.