So was he the victim of an elaborate prank? That would make him one of the most naive people on the planet? Or did he participate in the hoax, perhaps as a way to make himself a sympathetic figure in advance of the voting for the Heisman trophy? That would make him devious and cunning, almost diabolical. Notre Dame has put its prestige on the line by supporting Te’o’s innocence, so officials there are certainly hoping for “naive.”
There is no such confusion in the story of Lance Armstrong, who this week admitted to being exactly the liar and cheat so many people said he was. Yes, he told Oprah Winfrey in an interview, he doped and used illegal performance-enhancing substances for every single one of the seven-in-a-row Tour de France races he won. At the time, he didn’t even think what he was doing constituted cheating – that’s how focused on winning he was.
But now he’s sorry and will have to rebuild his image for the rest of his life. He did not apologize, however, for allegedly bullying others into going along with doping and with ruining lives by suing people who dared to challenge him. Guess there’s some levels of shame even Oprah can’t get to. Let’s see how he stands up when all those lawsuits start hitting the courts.