Johnny Manziel knows a little something about mythbuilding.
The so-called “Johnny Football,” whose legend grew all season while he himself never spoke publicly, won the Heisman Trophy this year. The other finalists were Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, and, of course, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o. The guy whose dead girlfriend had become the most compelling off-field narrative in college football this season, and was, in fact, a hoax.
Manziel expressed his thoughts on mythmaking in the media via Twitter.
“Just so people know the media doesn’t always paint the correct picture,” Manziel wrote Wednesday. “They just care about getting a good story and nothing else matters.”
So far as anybody knows, there have been no major flaws in Manziel’s narrative, although the redshirt freshman from the Texas Hill Country has been in the news a few times for a series of youthful endeavors off the field.
Manziel then wrote he would be “just as shocked as anyone else if it’s true.”
Given the timing of the Tweet — it was posted shortly after Deadspin broke the story, and suggested Te’o participated in the hoax, possibly to gain positive publicity — it appears Manziel was saying he would be surprised if Te’o hadn’t been genuinely duped.
The sports blog Deadspin reported Wednesday that the girl Te’o described as his girlfriend, who had supposedly been hit by a drunk driver, then diagnosed with and finally killed by Leukemia, had never existed. She instead was basically an online avatar built using someone else’s photos. The Deadspin report suggested Te’o and his family were involved in the construction of the mythical girl, “Lennay Kekua.”
Notre Dame’s version of the story is that Te’o learned he had been duped when, after Kekua’s supposed death, he received a call from the number he thought was hers. The person on the other end told him Kekua wasn’t real.
Yeah, it’s confusing. As Manziel put it, “#MindBlown.”