Manti Te’o is a little slow and other reasons we sports fans need to reassess our priorities
March 5th, 2013 by Chris Humpherys
“You may have never set foot in McDonald’s but you have your own McDonald’s. Maybe instead of buying a Big Mac, you read Us Weekly. Hey, that’s still McDonald’s. It’s just served up a little different.”
- Jim Gaffigan
“I exploit you, still you love me. I tell you one and one make three. I’m the cult of personality.”
- Living Colour
“Lies, lies, lies, yeah!”
- Thompson Twins
Comedian Jim Gaffigan has this hysterical skit based on the denial of our love for McDonald’s. In it, he describes our affinity for trashy television shows, Hollywood gossip and over-priced coffee chains as the junk food for our collective souls.
I couldn’t help but think of that skit as I gathered my thoughts on the whole Manti Te’o story, or the Lance Armstrong confession or whatever irrelevant sports story has become the McDonald’s of our day. When I tried to make sense of it all, all I kept coming back to was how I couldn’t make any sense of it all, how good it all tasted going down and how miserable I ended up feeling after digesting it.
The sports year began with tens of millions of us glued to the tale of a disgraced national hero, which was immediately followed by a charismatic, high-profile, college football player who got duped into thinking he was in love with a girl who didn’t exist. The term ‘catfish’ entered everyone’s vernacular. Then suddenly, it all went away, until a relatively out of shape Te’o failed to impress at the NFL combine, running one of the slowest 40-yard dashes of his draft class.
The talk resurfaced and we watched once again, just another trip through the drive-thru. Would you like an apple pie with that?
It’s a sad day in America when we look forward more to watching tell-all interviews with fallen athletes than we do to the sporting events themselves.
Trust me, I’m not throwing stones. I set my DVR like everyone else.
Who among us didn’t watch as Manti and Lance squirmed uncomfortably in front of the female firing squads named Oprah and Katie? Don’t believe me? 28 million Americans watched Part One of Oprah’s Lance Armstrong interview. That’s two timesmore than watched last year’s World Series! Similarly, Couric’s interview with the Te’o family drew her highest ratings yet.
We’ve gone so far off the deep end that predicting the next great sports scandal has become impossible. Colonel Mustard with the Heisman Trophy in the conservatory. All we know for sure is that it’s coming… and we’ll tune in.
For years, we praised Lance Armstrong. Now we despise him. Manti’s act was so convincing, he had us all toasting his one-of-a-kind story. Now we’re more likely to see him on his own reality TV show than we are on an NFL roster. They lied and we believed.
Regardless of who lies to us next, as Gaffigan suggests, it’s all McDonald’s.