What can Mariners Fans Learn from the Te’o Scandal?


Manti Te’o. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

By now, you’ve probably heard about Manti Te’o, the Notre Dame superstar football player who was duped into believing that his Internet girlfriend not only was a real person, but that she had died on the same day as his grandmother. When it later came to light that the whole situation was a hoax, he carried on the facade, since he’d received much sympathy from the press. Now, I can’t imagine what he went through, first thinking that the woman was real, then learning of her death, and then finding out it was all a hoax. But I imagine the rehashing of the media can’t be helping too much. Then again, the guy has become a household name for those who aren’t even NFL fans.

There are things we can take away from the misfortune Te’o experienced. Lessons that we can carry out as fans of the Seattle Mariners.

1. Always own up to your mistakes. Seriously, if you mess up and you make a statement you later find out is false, it’s good to own up to it, apologize, and move on when it happens. Don’t wait several months and then come out with the acknowledgement.

2. We are all only human.  As humans, we make mistakes. Sometimes we have huge gaffes that really mess with our lives and the lives of others. As Mariners fans, we’ve kind of been a hapless lot in the eyes of many. After all, we’ve been cheering on a team that since its birth in 1977 has yet to make it to the World Series. That’s okay. I’d rather root for the team I like than root for the winner and change loyalty every year!

3. Don’t believe everything you hear, and certainly don’t believe everything you read on the Internet! There are people out there who, for whatever reason – Farmville, kicks, keeping a significant other in the dark online behavior, malice, etc. – create fake profiles and who lie about who they are. It stinks! It’s unfortunate this kid had to go through this emotional roller coaster. I watched a documentary (or perhaps it’s a mockumentary) a few years ago called “Catfish” where a guy was duped into buying art from a nonexistent artist. Just because what we see looks like real names instead of handles doesn’t mean people are who they say they are! Some people create fake profiles and steal pictures off the internet using Google Image search in order to create fake profiles. It’s sad, but it’s true. That being said, Mariners fans, make sure to follow up on claims about trades, PED usage, and more before believing what is reported. Here at SoDo Mojo, I do my best to fact check every article I bring to you.

4. Remember that rumors are just that, rumors. Until it’s been officially released by the ball club(s) involved, hold off on buying into something you’ve read online about a trade, signing, etc. Just like we’ll probably never know the truth of what happened to Te’o with the people involved, it’s hard to know the truth of any situation unless it’s actually reported by those involved.

5. It’s better to put your emotion into things and fall than it is to hold back and be safe. Yeah, I know, that sounds an awful lot like that cheesy line about love, but it’s true. Sure, Te’o has to deal with the fall-out from the fraud that occurred. But at least he emoted and had heart when he (reportedly) thought it was true. Likewise, it’s better to be an all-out Mariners fan and cheer on your team – and if they lose, hey, at least you went down fighting with them!

6. See before you believe. As a philosopher by training, I understand the trickiness and contention contained in this statement, but bear with me for a moment, I mean this in the every day sense of the phrase. Te’o tried to meet up with the girl, and the meetings were cancelled every time. To me, that’s a huge red flag that things aren’t as they seem. If things seem too good to be true, they probably are. If you see a super deal on a playoff ticket, you might want to make sure the ticket is legitimate before purchasing it.

That’s all I’ve got for you here. What were your impressions of the Te’o situation? What do you think we can take away from it as sports fans?