The Cyclones Host Fictitious Friday in Honor of Manti Te’o

The Mets’ minor league team in Brooklyn–the Brooklyn Cyclones take the cake with this promotion.

In light of recent events involving All-American linebacker Manti Te’o, the Brooklyn Cyclones have announced that June 21 will be Fictitious Friday at MCU Park. The Single-A Affiliate of the New York Mets will have legendary fireballer Sidd Finch on the mound, in what will be his long-awaited professional debut (What do you mean he’s not real?), when they take on Roy Hobbs and the New York Knights (Wait, that team only exists in a movie and they are actually playing the Aberdeen IronBirds). Fans should be sure to arrive early because prior to the game, The Beatles will reunite for a once-in-a-lifetime concert event. (Okay, that’s apparently not true either, but this girl I met online told me she could make it happen).

Enough joking around, now here are some true statements about the plans for the evening. Anyone who purchases one ticket at regular price will be allowed to bring their make believe significant-other to the ballpark free of charge. Fans will also have the chance to draw a picture of their girlfriend, because obviously something came up and she couldn’t make it, so that their friends can finally see what she looks like. As a special treat, MCU Park will host a unique petting zoo for those in attendance, featuring a unicorn, a mermaid, and a Minotaur. The Cyclones are also in discussions with the Loch Ness Monster and Big Foot to throw out a ceremonial first pitch that evening. In keeping with the tradition of Coney Island amusements, the Cyclones will put a spin on a traditional carnival game, as fans that are able to toss a ping-pong ball into a fish bowl will receive a catfish. Lastly, all of the player headshots used on the video board will just be random people whose photos we find on the Internet.

For those who don’t know, Sidd Finch was a fictitious pitcher who Sports Illustrated reported threw 186MPH and a Curve at 111mph or something like that. They published the article on April 1st and people didn’t catch on.

Roy Hobbs is Robert Redford’s role in the movie “The Natural”. And the Catfish reference is from the TV show where they set people up with fake people.

Maybe the Mets should also do this promotion since they can’t seem to win with the players they have anyway.

Did Manti Punk Us?

The drama ensuing from Manti Te’o’s dead girlfriend story being a hoax is going to leave a blight on Notre Dame. Take a gander at this story on deadspin and tell me what you believe so far.

Here’s what I think: I think that the idea of being a celebrity is way too engrained in the lives of talented millennials. In other words, it wasn’t enough for Manti Te’o to be a star linebacker, he had to be more than that. He had to be larger than life. I’m hoping that’s not the case, as Notre Dame is standing by Manti’s story that he was the one taken advantage of here by someone who played on his emotions. Perhaps the ruse embarrassed him so much that he didn’t want to lose face? Other reports say Manti was in on it and if that’s true, than we have a megalomaniac on our hands.

The question that remains us why? Our consumeristic society can tell us something here, because even when we have enough it is never enough. Stars have to be superstars and what’s the difference between a model and a supermodel anyway? Sports stars like Terrell Owens and Tim Tebow have dominated headlines during the week but them often fell flat own game day. So far, we can’t say that about Te’o with the exception of the Alabama game. Yet, it is all too easy to feel like we were taken for a ride by someone. We wanted to believe in the power of inspiration and maybe that much is real, but to now find out that what was behind the inspiration is nothing more than a cheap joke, is stunning and sad.

On a retreat once, I had someone who was clearly making up stories, most likely for attention, but also because the person was mentally ill and off meds. Whenever people get a bit of attention these days it seems that they must bask in the limelight to the tenth power. The need to maximize stardom is well at the heart of this case, I think, and that is something Notre Dame should well pay attention to, because that addiction may have gotten them hooked as well.

Notre Dame and Manti Te’o are back in the headlines and I wonder if Manti, while he says he is embarrassed, isn’t still taking all of us a bit more further down the tracks of celebrity? Perhaps we are still feeding the addiction of celebrity, even while we are feeling robbed.

And maybe, just maybe Manti is laughing all the way to the bank.