Manti Te’o, the Notre Dame football player who graduated here in Hawaii from Punahou, my alma mater, is having a bad day. Or should I say year.

This son of Hawaii was the most heavily recruited athlete ever, with 35 schools wooing him. He and his Dad narrowed it down to five, as he had to visit all the campuses and talk to all the coaches.

One other stipulation on his part, is that he had to go to a school that would agree to let him take a one year break right in the middle, so he could fulfill his obligation as a devout Mormon and go on his missionary year. This is when Mormon boys/men go to some Godforsaken place and try to convert non believers to Mormonism. (If this isn’t a cult, I don’t know what is).

Of course, this is just my opinion as a member of a religion (Judaism) that discourages conversion. Most people who convert do it to please a spouse or intended spouse. As far as I’m concerned, you have to be born Jewish to be Jewish. Even if you aren’t religious. I think it is genetic.

Meanwhile Mormons were ‘converting’ dead Jews who died in the holocaust. They got a list of victims and felt sorry that they never got a chance to be Mormons in ‘this’ life. Naturally their families were outraged, and the practice was stopped. (Just another example of a crazy religion).

So when signing day came, he was stuck between USC and Notre Dame. ND won. He has spent four years there leading the football team to glory. They just finished #1 with a 12-0 record for the season.

It seems he never did go on his mission. It was delayed. Maybe he got a deferment from the Mormon Church, if he agreed to tithe 10% of his earnings from his salary as an NFL football player. Who knows? It would have been a shame to interrupt such a great run in football. (no pun intended).

Te’o was the school hero and when his grandmother died just before the Big Game, everyone’s hearts went out to him. But then his ‘girlfriend’ died just 24 hours later and he dedicated the Big Game to her. In true ‘fighting Irish’ spirit he made 12 tackles in that game (even though he is not Irish). The event made sport pages across the country. Even CNN and the NY Times carried the story. His stock went up even further.

After the season he was awarded seven major awards for Best this and that. And yesterday the S— hit the fan.

The ‘girlfriend’ story was a hoax, and he claims he was the victim. Either he is telling the truth and he is not too wise, or he is not and his integrity score went way down. The name of this type of scam is ‘Catfish’ and there is a documentary of the same name.

He says he never actually met her in person, that it was an online thing. His father is quoted as saying she flew to Hawaii to be with him on his vacations. Also he was expecting her to be his daughter-in-law, but guess not now.

Son and father should get together and get their stories straight. First of all, first tip off should have been her ‘Hawaiian’ name. Lennay Kekua. The name ‘Lennay’ is not Hawaiian. There are twelve letters in the Hawaiian alphabet and ‘y’ is not one of them.

When asked what her name was, in an interview Manti said her ‘real’ name was Melelengie but that it was hard to say, so her friends called her Lennay. Funny, there is no ‘g’ in the Hawaiian alphabet either.

I don’t get the connection of the two names. Why not have your nickname be Mele, which means Merrie, as in Mele Kalikimaka or Merry Christmas.  Of course you can be Hawaiian and not have a Hawaiian name.

However I was born and raised in Hawaii and lived here most of my 74 years, and have never heard of either name. By the way, Sandra in Hawaiian is Kanela, as there is no ‘s’, d, or ‘r’ either.

Of course it you don’t really exist and are a made up person, it is sort of a moot point.

Second, he says he ‘met’ her in 2009 but never met her? Their relationship seemed to be emails and phone calls. Imagine his surprise when his dead girlfriend called him three months after her death.

Maybe this should be called ‘Manti in Wonderland’ as it gets curiouser and curiouser. Step over, Lewis Carroll.

At this point, why didn’t he go to someone and have them trace the call. If shouldn’t be that hard to do. With all the tracking devices out there, isn’t it pretty simple to find the origin of an email or a phone call?

All he had to do was call Daniel Craig or Tom Cruise. (Of course TC is a member of another odd ball religion). For those of you not ‘up’ on your movies, DC plays James Bond and TC plays Ethan Hunt of Mission Impossible. Both have lots of gadgets at their disposal and checking a phone number couldn’t be all that hard.

The story is not over. With the NFL draft coming up, and Manti Teo probably being the #1 draft pick worth millions, this story will have huge ramifications.

In the meantime it will be great fodder for late night comedy TV shows, as well as more material for the National Enquirer.

If you want to see some very funny Manti Te’o greeting cards, check out

Here is one that Peter sent me.manti-teo-notre-dame-lennay-kekua-pretty-flirting-ecards-someecards

I can’t wait for the TV movie. Wonder who will play the part of Lennay? How about Lena Dunham from Girls? She doesn’t have to look Hawaiian, as she doesn’t exist.

This synopsis was in today’s Honolulu Star Advertiser.20130117_manti_hoax_full-1