A soap opera not worth watching

Kyle Riviere @kyleR_sports
Weekly Citizen Sports Editor Kyle Riviere

The world never ended on Dec. 21, but maybe the Mayans weren't totally wrong. Maybe they were just a month or so off on their prediction of the apocalypse.

That's exactly what I've been thinking for the past week as this ESPN meets National Inquirer meets Match.com saga of Manti Te'o continues to live and perpetuate itself throughout the media. I don't know about everyone else, but I've had just about as much of the soap opera as I can handle; I've officially gotten "Manti-fatigue."

I'm not saying it wasn't newsworthy. It certainly warranted being mentioned, and there were questions that needed to be answered.

The story of a guy that lost his girlfriend to cancer, dedicated the season to her and rode that inspiration to a second-place finish for the Heisman and trip to the BCS Championship Game was epic . A plot like that can get you a Golden Globe or an Oscar.

Unfortunately, we learned that that script only belonged in Hollywood. The girlfriend never died, because she never existed.

Te'o and Notre Dame say it was never a fabricated story to create publicity; it was simply a tale of a naive college kid that got scammed and taken advantage of on the Internet.

Maybe they're telling the truth but at this point, I don't care. No one knows what really happened except Te'o himself, so it's time for the media and the rest of the nation to turn the page and move on.

No more exclusive interviews. The sit-down with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap was all we needed. Another chat session with Katie Couric was like the millions of remakes Hollywood keeps dishing out--unoriginal, unwarranted and just plain unnecessary.

Fake girlfriend, hoax, catfish, Tuiasosopo--I've heard those words far more than desired in the past two weeks. Sometimes I forget that there's a Super Bowl to watch on Sunday. I thought that CBS might run episodes of a new soap opera starring Te'o called "The Bold and the Beautiful...and the Fake" instead.

See, even the jokes are starting to get old. There are just so many quips you can make about an imaginary girlfriend, and I think every comedian has already flirted with that line between hilarity and overkill.

Though, some of them still get me grinning. The picture of Johnny Manziel and A.J. McCarron hugging up to their supermodel-like belles with the title, "the SEC: real football, real girlfriends" was quite classic.

Well, I have a feeling that those kinds of pictures and jokes aren't going anywhere. With Te'o prepping for the NFL Draft, get ready to hear about this story all the way through April. And when his rookie season finally begins in September, get ready to hear about it even more.

When he actually gets a real girlfriend, I'm sure there will be exclusive details and photos that, in today's celebrity-obsessed world, will pass as important. Yep, this may be just the tip of the iceberg.

The only thing that might put this Te'o story on the back-burner is if there is another scandal. Maybe we'll find out Katherine Webb came up with an en-genius scheme to date McCarron knowing the cameras would be on her at the BCS Championship Game and make her an over-night star.

If that's not true, I guess we'll just have to get ready for another year of discussions on catfish schemes and fake girlfriend jokes.