Opinion: Real does not recognize real

By Jack Zink — When people think of the traditional All-American athlete, they see a star player who excels in their sport, gets good grades and can pick up any girl he wants. For one of those athletes, they had to go to the Internet to find the love of their lives.

In one of the most bizarre stories in recent memory, former Notre Dame linebacker and potential first round draft pick Manti Te’o was “catfished” into an online relationship.

For those that do not know what catfishing is, it basically is someone disguising as another person and trying to get into a relationship with someone they never met physically but via the Internet. It is a funny joke that gets people to realize you cannot fall in love with someone you have never met.

This is exactly what happened to Te’o. He met his “girlfriend” online, never physically saw her and only communicated through text or phone call. How someone can fall in love with someone they have never physically met is a shame to me.

Because he is the star player of the most prolific college football team, there is no reason he should have to go to the Internet to find a relationship. He could honestly go to a coffee shop and pick up at least one girl.

Not only has he been embarrassed by this scandal, he has also been the butt of many jokes that came after the story broke.

Current South Carolina defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowny went on a rampage of tweets after he found out about the story, saying things like “Manti Teo’ probably won’t get that eharmony endorsement now” and also tweeted a picture of blank white screen and quoted it “Manti Te’o’s girl”.

Although these jokes can be cruel, that does not get past the fact that he was made a fool and fell trap to an idiotic joke. Not only does he deserve to be made fun of, Te’o needs to realize that you cannot fall in love to someone you have only encountered online.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]