Everyone in the world of news (and news-like entertainment) wants to talk about Manti Te’o, so I put together the Round Table to kick up discussion.

When was the first time you heard about the Manti Te’o storyline involving a girlfriend who was supposedly dying?

Lienesch (@BCLienesch): I knew about it pretty much as soon as it supposedly happened. It was picked up and swallowed full by the media pretty quickly.

Robert Aitken (@RobertAitkenBR): My first exposure to the story was during the Michigan State game and his post-game comments about their deaths. It was a nice story then and his Heisman stock suddenly showed up from that moment.. I heard about it being a hoax through Twitter, specifically from the site Awful Announcing. They keep pretty good tabs on Deadspin and their reporting, especially when they bash ESPN. Deadspin is still growing their trust from other media outlets, much like how TMZ broke the story on Michael Jackson’s death. Those who trusted Deadspin, especially with such a ridiculous story, were rewarded with a head start on the frenzy.

XIV (@sirmhayesxiv) – As a huge ND fan I knew about this as soon as it happened. Also, it wasn’t a girlfriend who was supposedly dying. It was a supposed girlfriend who was dying. The girl never existed. That trumps her illness.

To what degree do you believe Manti Te’o is involved in this story? Did he get duped all along? Did he learn about it part of the way through? Was he involved in the story from the beginning?

Lienesch (@BCLienesch): I really don’t know enough yet to say I confidently stand on one side of the fence or the other. I will say this: everything about this story is super shady. You can make cogent arguments for just about any stance. That’s the problem right now. That’s what makes this all so confusing.

Robert Aitken (@RobertAitkenBR): I know people who have met significant others on the Internet. There’s still a bit of shame on meeting someone that way still, so I initially felt for Te’o, who may have fibbed things to protect what was no more than a cyber relationship. As more has come out, Te’o has seen all of his lies come out. How could he date someone for three years, never meet her, lie about not meeting her, and never make it a point to see her while she was in the hospital while dying? Did you feel like not going to the funeral or visiting the grave was a good idea? What a bad fictional boyfriend.

XIV (@sirmhayesxiv) I have no idea what to believe. I think he got duped. The question is when did he figure it out. I can’t imagine he was involved from the beginning. Makes no sense, but then again. NONE of this story makes sense. I found it telling that ND’s AD Jack Swarbrick was so steadfast 100% backing Te’o. But I am so baffled by the story that whatever the end game is, it can’t possibly get stranger.

How do you feel this story affects where he gets drafted?

Lienesch (@BCLienesch): It’s not a football issue, it’s a personal issue. If a team thinks the incident speaks to a larger character flaw, it may move him down the board. But right now, I think they’re like us in that they just don’t know. It’s really too early to tell.

Robert Aitken (@RobertAitkenBR): At first, I thought this wouldn’t impact things. Players have bad Wonderlic scores and still get drafted high, having good careers despite the test. This isn’t an IQ test, but his intelligence sure is in question now. Some franchises rich in tradition and in need of linebackers, such as the Giants, who have been linked to Te’o in mock drafts, won’t touch this kid now. Someone will draft him and he will do some sliding, but I can still see a late 1st or early 2nd round selection, though he should make sure the phone call he gets is actually from an NFL team. Mohamed Sanu knows that feeling all too well.

XIV (@sirmhayesxiv) It’ll affect it. Character plays into the draft. He might be implicated in the strangest lie I can recall in sports. Possibly to gain notoriety? This will the the story moving into the combine and draft.

coconut_originalIf Te’o plays a game in Philly next year, and he’s not part of the Eagles, what are the odds that fans are going to throw lei’s or coconuts onto the field?

Lienesch (@BCLienesch): I don’t pretend to know where rock bottom is for Eagles fans.

Robert Aitken (@RobertAitkenBR): You’re limiting this idea to only if he is NOT an Eagle next year?

XIV (@sirmhayesxiv) This question brought to by the Guysnation TROLL department. Time to put on my Eagle’s jersey, and THROW a little TRUTH your way. When’s the last time you saw something thrown on the field at an Eagle’s game…. Go Ahead. I’ll wait. … Yeah. Glad a site I contribute to goes ahead with the Philly fan stereotype like the rest of the National media despite the fact that no matter the sporting event, ANYWHERE? You’re gonna find assholes. People are going to be drunk. This obsession like Philadelphia is some wild west town and it doesn’t happen EVERYWHERE is ludicrous. For example. There were 92 people kicked out of a game, 62 needed medical attention, and 25 were arrested. Were did THAT happen? The docile, peaceful, hippy-topia that is San Francisco. So the answer is 0. Will he be taunted? Yeah. LIke he’ll be taunted where EVERYWHERE he goes. There will be signs. People might wear leis. People need to quit acting like any NFL city where people are stupid drunk before kickoff is any “better” than Philadelphia.

Any other conspiracies you’d like to pull the fake girlfriend into?

Lienesch (@BCLienesch): I’ve been getting a kick out of @MantiConspiracy on twitter. 😉

Robert Aitken (RobertAitkenBR): It’s sure interesting that they’re bringing up the JFK assassination….