Manti Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend, the Most Heartbreaking and Inspirational Story of the College Football Season, Is a Hoax

The story was told by Sports Illustrated, CBS News, and countless others: linbeacker Manti Te’o, Heisman trophy candidate and the face of Notre Dame football, was playing brilliantly despite the tragic loss of his girlfriend to leukemia early in the season. The reporters missed one key element of Te’o’s story, however: the girl hadn’t died. She couldn’t have. She didn’t exist.

The Last Time They Met

The night his Alabama Crimson Tide beat the LSU Tigers for the national championship, Brian Downing put his balls on the face of a passed out LSU fan named Garrison Stamp. The act was caught on video, the video went viral, and their lives were never the same.