Univeristy of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o is feeling incredibly embarrassed after being duped into having a full-fledged relationship with a woman who never even existed, but all this hurt and shame has given the football player a measure of fame and he could be well on his way to finding love -- for real, this time at least.
Lennay Kekua was Te’o’s online girlfriend, one he had never really met, a fabricated woman created by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.
The scandal has exploded partly because of the success of MTV’s reality-televison show “Catfish: The TV Show,” which helps people finally meet their online loves.
Te’o’s story garnered national attention after he told reporters that his girlfriend first was diagnosed with leukemia and then tragically “died” in a car accident.
Te’o, 21, soon became a household name after it was discovered that Kekua not only hadn’t died, but in fact hadn't ever lived.
Many people have watched “Catfish” and seen how naive people were foolish enough to fall in love online, each without ever having the opportunity to hold the other’s hand.
Now Te’o’s story is helping prove that it can happen to anyone -- or at least anyone who is desperate enough to find love.
According to reports, Te’o talked to his fake girlfriend for hours each week, coaching her through leukemia sessions and endlessly crying when she “died.”
For those who look at Te’o’s story and feel for him -- instead of mocking him the way many Internet trolls have done -- it appears love might be in the works for real this time.
If Te’o isn’t drafted into the NFL, it wouldn’t be surprising for MTV to turn around and offer the athlete his own reality-TV show, “Bachelor”-style.
It’s only a matter of time before Te’o casts his line back into the old sea, except this time will be different. This time, he’ll surely catch the catfish.