In "the stack" today, it was supposed to be the 2013 NHL season preview, but the big news on Thursday simply cannot be passed up so I will bump the NHL preview to Friday along with the AFC and NFC championship previews so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Thursday, January 17:
The curious case of Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend
An odd story broke Wednesday when deadspin.com reported that Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o's girlfriend, Lennay Kukua, who supposedly died in September days after Te'o's grandmother passed away was a hoax. That's right. Not real. Rather embarrassing for Te'o, but also really sad. Don't know why someone would be out to get this man. He seems like a real genuine person who would never stoop to participating in a spoof and elaborate scheme such as this.
Of course the story just gets more weird as the report so eloquently goes into. A lady named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo supposedly made up Kukua. Some people close to Tuiasosopo believe that Te'o actively participated in the hoax. Seems hard to believe. Yet, the story takes another twist as Arizona Cardinals fullback Reagan Mauia says that Kukua is indeed a real person. What? Is this lady who supposedly was in a serious online relationship with Te'o (the two never met) alive or not? That's what makes this story so strange, sad and weird. What other information is going to come out next?
The worst thing is that there are some who believe that this will hurt Te'o's draft stock. How does this relate to anything on the football field? Why would this be an attack on Te'o's character because he was the victim of a cruel, cruel hoax? That makes absolutely zero sense. Sure this story will be talked about at the NFL combine and in meetings between Te'o and NFL teams, but Te'o's character should not be questioned. His play on the field speaks for itself and he has been a great person off of it. There will be more on this story I'm sure and there will be more thoughts on it when that comes.
Chip Kelly bolts college for the Philadelphia Eagles
On second thought, maybe the NFL is the place I truly want to be. That apparently is what was going on in Chip Kelly's head as he agreed to become the Philadelphia Eagles head coach, leaving the Oregon community stunned. The pursuit reportedly began again last week and this time, Kelly had plenty of time to reflect and decide that the opportunity to coach the Eagles was too good to pass up. He turned Oregon into a national powerhouse in his four seasons there, with BCS Bowl appearances in each season. Surely, he will be missed at Oregon where his style of offense was fascinating to watch and it will be very interesting to see how that translates to the NFL. We're seeing more spread offense in the NFL and Kelly is a genius when it comes to that offense. He has weapons to utilize in Philly. It will be interesting to see whether or not Kelly keeps Michael Vick as his quarterback. Regardless, it is a new day in Philadelphia and the beginning of a new era. Unfortunately for Ducks fans, it will be the beginning of a new era in Oregon too where they hope that they can keep the recruits coming in. Offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich is expected to be named head coach, but you never know if that will change. We didn't see Kelly changing his mind and going to the Eagles after all.
LeBron James reaches 20,000 points
The King reached the 20 thousand point plateau Wednesday, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to reach the mark. He reached the milestone late in the second quarter in the Miami Heat's 92-75 victory over the Golden State Warriors. This only adds to LeBron's legacy and he is not done yet. He's not even 30 years old yet. Only twelve players had ever reach 20 thousand points. Make it a bakers dozen thirteen as LeBron joins the prestigious list that includes:
- Kareem Abdul-Jabaar
- Karl Malone
- Michael Jordan
- Kobe Bryant
- Oscar Robertson
- John Havlicek
- Jerry West
- Kevin Garnett
- Allen Iverson
- Clyde Drexler
- Gary Payton
- Magic Bird
Yeah, a nice company to be around. Kareem holds the all-time record 38,387 points so LeBron has some work to do to catch him, but would anybody really believe this guy doesn't have a chance to break it? Don't bet against him.
Coming up Friday: AFC and NFC championship game preview and 2013 NHL preview