One of the beautiful things about sports that I love is how they can sometimes be unpredictable. The heavy underdog can upset the favorite, the unknown bench warmer can suddenly become the hero, and the last second finish can leave us all standing in awe. Sports can bring us hope, joy, excitement, and relief all in the same moment. And then you have weeks like this one when things just get weird.
Remember last week when we found out that Manti Te'o's girlfriend didn't actually exist? And we all thought it was a weird and crazy twist to the Te'o saga? Well, it got even more absurd this week. Early in the week we come to find out that Manti's fake girlfriend was actually a guy. The same guy who made up the story to begin with. Apparently he's got crazy good vocal training. And the next day ... just kidding, it wasn't actually him, it was his female cousin! Or was it? Maybe it was both of them ... or it could have been 3 people according to some stories. This whole situation just keeps getting more and more convoluted to the point where I have no idea which way is up and which is down. Does anyone actually know what happened here? At this point I'm left with two possible conclusions:
- Manti was in on the hoax the entire time and his group just keeps making up pieces to the story hoping it will fit together and people will believe that he's innocent.
- Manti is one gullible son of a gun who not only can't decipher whether or not a person is real, but apparently he also can't tell the difference between a dude and a girl.
Either way, I really don't see how this can help the long-term image and career of Manti Te'o. I'm sure we'll find out more information as we move forward, but don't be surprised if it turns out Manti is actually a very sophisticated hologram that was engineered by a group of alien farmers living on the North Pole of Pluto. Which isn't a planet ... sad ...
This wasn't the only crazy story of the week. Enter the Miami Hurricanes. Here's the backstory ... 2 years ago it was revealed that a Miami booster named Nevin Shapiro had been providing improper benefits to Miami football players since the late 1990's. Supposedly. Of course the NCAA needed to get involved and do a full scale investigation to determine the severity of the transgressions. Along the way Miami self-imposed bowl sanctions each of the last 2 years including removing themselves from the ACC title game this season ... all in the hopes that the NCAA would go easier on them when the investigation was over.
Finally this week the NCAA was set to unveil it's findings and subsequent punishment for "The U" ... we'll ignore the fact that it took 2 years to complete an investigation of one man. Anyway, what do we find out? We find out that the investigative team of the NCAA actually broke it's own rules while completing the investigation and there is now an investigation of the investigation team. You following me here? The NCAA has now hired an external party to help complete the review of Miami to decide what punishments actually need to be handed down based on what crimes were actually committed.
If this sounds like a joke ... I wish it were. The NCAA has once again proven it's complete ineptitude to be an effective governing body of collegiate sports. In the last year alone they have made a complete mockery of the Miami case, overstepped their boundary in a legal matter involving Penn State University, and admitted on other occasions to screwing up investigations involving individual athletes. Now, I'm not suggesting that the NCAA doesn't have a place in college sports ... they absolutely do. However, I am saying that it might be time for a change in leadership and direction before the member schools start jumping ship and anarchy returns. It sounds like a drastic measure, but I have a feeling that a mass departure from the NCAA isn't that far away if things continue the way they're going.
So if you take the 2 stories above, toss in the fact that the number one team in Men's College Basketball lost by 27 points this week, 6 of the top 19 in Men's College Basketball lost to unranked teams on Saturday alone, the Harbaugh brothers refuse to talk to each other before the Super Bowl, an entire round of the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open in California was lost due to fog, and Shaun White came in 5th place during a Winter X-Games Competition ... it's been a very bizarre 7 days in sports.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.