This has been a tremendous week for lying. On Tuesday, a story broke that the girlfriend of Manti Te’o, the player who finished second in this year’s Heisman Trophy votes, had actually never existed. Te’o issued a public statement saying that he was the victim of a cruel and elaborate hoax. On Thursday, Lance Armstrong finally admitted to doping.
Oprah was not impressed…
It only seems fitting that the week ends the day before our holiday celebrating one of America’s greatest heroes that put a magnifying glass on the lies America was telling itself.
For this thought experiment, let’s assume that Manti Te’o was in on the lie (although at this point, that is still hotly debated…as is his sexuality). The question I present is, if you were Manti Te’o, what do you do now? There is a world of options (tell the truth, say nothing, lie more, kill yourself/others, etc.), but there is a “best” answer or an answer that leads to the highest probability of success. This is what I would do…
First, it’s damage control time so let’s assess the situation. Maybe not everyone is really talking about it (oh shit Google!). Well that could be picking up a lot of stuff that’s unrelated (or not). So, it’s hit the tipping point and people seem to really care about the outcome, which means that my public statement does not appear to be enough.
Second, it’s time to do something. Lance just told the truth after systematically lying about something that people care about and he seems to be doing fine…(uh oh). Well, in this situation, it can’t be believed that having a fake girlfriend and then having her die of leukemia had any effect on my performance (really?). Okay, so my draft position is at risk regardless because I’m either considered an idiot (a big no no for a defensive lineman), evil/headcase (that’s OK), or both. So this has adversely affected my draft position, but maybe less so if I tell the truth.
So, the big decision: I tell the truth and pray people still have short memories.
What would you do?