Of all the things we’ll remember about the 2013 BCS National Championship Game, two stick out above all others:
1. Brent Musberger’s long-winded and uncomfortable swoon session over current Miss Alabama and future Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Katherine Webb. While I personally didn’t have as big of a problem with it as most, I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t, ahem, a little weird.
2. The lackluster effort of Notre Dame’s entire ball-club, and linebacker Manti Te’o specifically.
Now, much like the Katherine Webb hysteria, Te’o’s poor performance has already been discussed ad nauseam. Last Monday night was his worst performance of the season and in no way indicative of how good Te’o was on most nights in 2012 (or over the course of his career for that matter). At the same time, when you miss that many tackles, on such a big stage people will notice. Especially when you’re a first team All-American set to make millions of dollars as a pro in a few months.
Regardless, there was one place which definitely wasn’t afraid to point out Te’o’s struggles against Alabama, and that was his hometown newspaper, Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Following the BCS title game the paper’s headline read “Bowled Over” which ran just above a picture of Te’o getting, well, bowled over by Crimson Tide running back Eddie Lacy.
The picture perfectly captured the tone of the game, even if it didn’t make one person in particular happy. That person was Te’o’s dad Brian, who was none too happy with the newspaper’s editorial decision on the matter.
And earlier this week, Brian actually took to his son’s Facebook fan page to voice his displeasure.
Here is what Brian Te’o said, with the tip coming via ChicagoNow.com:
“Our family has been very gracious to the Star Advertiser by providing interviews and photos of our son in the recent weeks. On our way home from Miami we were “privileged” to see how the Star Advertiser returns that favor by posting a photo of our son “presumably” being “bowled over” by the Alabama RB (Eddie Lacy). So, from this point forward, Star Advertiser you have been officially black listed. I will no longer agree to any more interviews, sharing of photos, or anything else, and I will encourage all who have a subscription to your newspaper to not renew. Be more responsible in the future…if you can.” Brian Te’o
So on the surface, it’s safe to say that we do see Brian Te’o’s point. For one, he’s a dad looking out for his kid, which you can’t really blame him about. But more importantly this is clearly a media outlet the family has worked with and confided in before. It’s safe to say that the Honolulu Star-Advertiser has been running stories on Manti Te’o since long before we as college football fans knew anything about him.
At the same time, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser is a journalistic entity, and the No. 1 credo of the journalism trade is to “Seek the truth and report it.”
And well, the truth is that Te’o and Notre Dame got punked by the Crimson Tide last Monday night. It’s not the newspaper’s fault that Te’o missed a tackle (or 10) or that the defense he led gave up 42 points.
Most importantly, we’ve got one quick tip for Brian Te’o: While we appreciate the paternal support, remember, your son is about to be a professional now.
And this is the worst thing that’s ever written about him between now and the end of his career, consider yourself lucky.
For all his opinion, analysis and insight on college football, be sure to follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.