Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tom Jones' Two Cents: Funny people pile on Manti Te'o

tom jones' two cents

These Te'o jokes are all very funny, but let's all try and remember that a person who never existed is dead.

Seth Meyers, head writer for Saturday Night Live

"The were calling this the biggest hoax at Notre Dame since they were ranked No. 1 in the nation.''

Letterman's top 10 list

Top 10 signs you have an imaginary girlfriend, from the Late Show With David Letterman on CBS:

10. You describe her to friends as "a non­descript female with eyes and hair."

9. Photo of girlfriend looks suspiciously like Sun-Maid raisin lady.

8. You keep referring to her in the first person.

7. Have a patent pending for a machine that gives you a hickey.

6. Someone says, "Tell me about your girlfriend," you say, "Hmm, let me think of something."

5. Your imaginary friend is dating her sister.

4. Everyone can tell you're arguing on the phone with Siri.

3. She's never upset when you forget her imaginary birthday.

2. Always pressuring you to pretend to buy engagement ring.

1. Said she's too shy to meet your friends … your family … and you.

That didn't take long

First we heard the bizarre story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o. His "girlfriend," Lennay Kekua, "died" in the fall of leukemia. Yeah, well, she never existed. As media outlets work to sort out the truth, and as Te'o and others talk about the apparent hoax, the whole thing is either incredibly cruel or disturbingly devious.

And, given just a day or so, it's completely hilarious.

Let's face it, we humans are not exactly the sensitive kind. We make jokes not long after real people die. Imagine what we do when fake people die. Well, imagine no more. Here are some of the jokes making the rounds about the Te'o hoax:

In the Spirit

You just know some ad executives are sitting around waiting to jump on the latest news, scandal or bizarre story. Usually it's minor-league baseball teams that try to drum up some fans with a goofy promotion involving something in the news. (One team had Watergate Night, giving out Richard Nixon dolls and allowing anyone with the last names of Woodward or Bernstein to get in free.)

Someone already has come up with a promotion on this case: Spirit Airlines.

The airline has an online ad made to look like the famous Notre Dame locker room sign that players touch for good luck that says, "Play Like A Champion Today." Except the Spirit ad says, "No Hoax! These fares are really low!"

And, oh, this just in:

The Florence Freedom, an independent minor-league baseball team in Kentucky, has announced Manti Te'o Girlfriend Bobblehead Day for May 23. The first 1,000 fans will be handed an empty bobblehead box, and there will also be a pretend Kiss Cam where fans can kiss any imaginary friends or girlfriends with them. Also, the team will have an imaginary food fight and air guitar contest.

Cover model

Just last week, Miss Alabama USA Katherine Webb became an overnight sensation while watching her boyfriend, University of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, play in the BCS title game. ESPN announcer Brent Musburger commented on her attractiveness and, whammo, she's supposedly going to be in Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue.

It didn't take long for a fake SI cover with Webb in her bathing suit, standing next to an invisible woman — that would be Kekua — in hers.


Some of the jokes making the rounds on Twitter:

• I had a fake girlfriend like Manti Te'o in college, but at least I had the decency to use the picture that came with my wallet.

• Manti Te'o's girlfriend was the Mayan calendar's playmate of the year.

• AJ McCarron's girlfriend will be featured in an SI swimsuit issue. Manti Te'o's girlfriend will be featured on MythBusters.

• I'm glad Manti Te'o's fake dead girlfriend isn't around to see this.

• Manti Te'o will meet even faker girls once he's an NFL millionaire.

• If you having girl problems I feel bad for you son. Manti Te'o has 99 problems but a girl ain't one.

• Taylor Swift is already writing a song about Manti Te'o and his fake girlfriend.

• At least my girlfriend, Halle Berry, is real. It's just the relationship that's imaginary.

• Te'o just changed his Facebook status to "It's complicated."

Best headline

From the website Deadspin:

No Such Dame

Ha, dame … Notre Dame … get it?

Trash talk

It wasn't bad enough that Alabama, a school from the SEC, blasted Notre Dame for the national title, but now the SEC is rubbing it in. On a poster with Alabama QB AJ McCarron (near right) and Texas A&M QB and Heisman winner Johnny Manziel standing with their girlfriends, there's this message:

The SEC. Real Football. Real Girlfriends.

Late night

The professionals got in on the Te'o act as well. The late-night talk-show hosts had a field day with his imaginary girlfriend.

"It could open up an entirely new branch of Fantasy Football."

"They were calling this the biggest hoax at Notre Dame since they were ranked No. 1 in the nation."

"Apparently Te'o … was in a relationship with a woman he met online. But it turned out that — and I might not have the exact details here — the woman was Bruce Willis and he was dead the whole time, something like that."

"I demand the U.S. government give anyone in America a fake Twitter girlfriend."

"In (Te'o's) defense, Brent Musburger said she was really hot."

Tom Jones' Two Cents: Funny people pile on Manti Te'o 01/19/13 [Last modified: Saturday, January 19, 2013 8:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs-Bills: Tampa Bay's fatal habit of falling behind


    TAMPA — Okay, all you road scholars, why do the Bucs keep falling behind in games not played at Raymond James Stadium?

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) recovers a fumble during the first half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  2. Nicked-up Lightning vs. Penguins tonight



  3. What we've learned from the Bucs' and Bills' playoff droughts


    Is it possible for the Buccaneers and Bills to be any farther off the NFL's radar? You get the feeling schedule-makers didn't think twice about putting this one down for 1 p.m. Sunday — the let's-hope-no-one-notices time slot.

    [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. College football game-day guide, Week 8


    Derwin vs. Lamar

    Florida State Seminoles defensive back Derwin James (3) breaks up the pass intended for Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Ahmmon Richards (82) in the third quarter of the game between the Florida State Seminoles and the Miami Hurricanes at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla. on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. The Miami Hurricanes beat the Florida State Seminoles 24-20.