Manti Te’o came in second for the coveted Heisman trophy. He was an awesome linebacker at Notre Dame, and his personal story touched the nation. He played through the pain of losing his grandmother and his girlfriend on the same day. The problem is the girlfriend that he grieved over never existed. The website Deadspin broke the story yesterday and the University has started backpedaling. They contend that Te’o was the unwitting victim of an elaborate hoax, but what if he wasn’t? Why would he make this story up? We love a story. A sad story. A love story or the combination of both: sad story and love story. We love to hear of Americans overcoming adversity. We believed Lance Armstrong’s story. He overcame cancer to win 7 Tour de France races. We believed he never took performance enhancing drugs. In spite of others coming forth claiming he did and some even saying they took them with him. We still believed his denials. Tonight he will appear on the Oprah Winfrey show and confirm what others have said for years he did take drugs and he has been lying to us for years. Armstrong is sharing his truth with us after he can no longer be tried on perjury charges. Armstrong is looking for redemption, but has he been punished? Armstrong is worth an estimated $100 million dollars. Marion Jones lied, but she was stripped of her Olympic medals and she went to jail. “Jones won three gold and two bronze medals in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, becoming perhaps the most famous and marketable female athlete in the world. After frequently denying ever having used performance-enhancing drugs, Jones admitted she had lied to federal investigators in November 2003. Jones was sentenced to six months of prison time and 400 hours of community service in each of the two years following her release.”* All of these athletes have lied to us, but in spite of evidence that should have been questioned we chose to believe them. Why? We love a winner. In the case of Te’o his story only added to his aura of invincibility. He was a winner that played on in spite of the tragedy going on his own life. Armstrong and Williams showed us incredible greatness in their respective fields and we were in awe of their talents. They were winning medals and we were waving our flags. We did not want to know how the watch was made. We just wanted results and they gave us some great sports moments. No one applauds average. We yearn for excellences and we tend to worship winners so as we look at these disgraced athletes perhaps we need to flip the mirror, and take just a little of the blame.