The real question now is when or IF Manti Te'o will have a press conference to explain the hoax involving his fake girlfriend Lennay Marie Kekua.
I would never try to give advice to Manti on how to play football, but I have learned a thing or two about how the press conference MUST go down in order to get the most positive spin possible. Because, right now, it's not looking good for Te'o, Notre Dame, his agent or his handlers.
So here's my suggestion:
First, staging is very important with these things if we've learned anything from watching confessions of fallen politicians and evangelical preachers. Manti will need to wear a plain suit (nothing flashy) and be prepared to cry for several minutes, if not through most of the presser. Women LOVE that kind of stuff and he'll need to turn the waterworks on quickly and often. If necessary, he may need to have friends and family pull out nose hairs one at a time beforehand to get him worked up.
Second, you'll need a strong, but kind of plain, woman standing by his side. All the great fallen men have one looking lovingly a them as they spill their guts. Look, I know it's only been a few months since his girlfriend died (sort of), but it's time to move on and it would help if he kind of went in a little bit of the opposite direction for Lennay: probably a short blonde, maybe a little stocky, but serious looking. To show he's matured, right? Name and back-story are not important, but she needs to be able to look hurt, but supportive, the entire time. And she needs to be REAL.
Next, bring in as many family members, teammates, coaches, nuns, priests and maybe a cop or two as you can pack into a room that looks warm and comforting. Some of them can cry, too. Maybe have it in a place like the library at Notre Dame, or a meeting room that overlooks the picture of Touchdown Jesus covered in snow in South Bend this time of year. What you want to avoid is standing up there alone in some generic hotel meeting room like Tiger Woods did, with his judgmental mother in the audience. Who thought that was a good idea?
Also, you want to hold this thing at a day and time to get the larges possible FEMALE audience. If Manti can sway the ladies with his story, the men will have no choice but to fall in line or be labeled heartless creeps.
So, now the stage is set: what does Manti say that could possible help his case? He has to confess, without really admitting to anything in particular. Start with something like "I'm here today to apologize to my family, my church, my friends, teammates, fans and especially my girlfriend (insert name here) for letting them down. I was the victim of online scammers who made me think I had met the love of my life and then, in the middle of the season, pulled the rug out from under me and made me think she (start crying here), she died. (more crying)"
Good, you've got the ladies who are now thinking that this is a true man, one who's not afraid to admit he's wrong ("My husband never admits he's wrong!") and show his true feelings. Next, you need to go after people of faith, by having Manti talk about how his "faith in the Lord (don't mention a specific religion) helped him through this tough time and showed him the way." Somewhere in there he needs to slip in the sleepless nights this whole incident has caused and the pain he has suffered, so people will say afterwards "Hasn't this man be punished enough?"
At this point, Manti can go one of several possible ways, but my suggestion would be to imply that Vegas mobsters had set him up to try and break his spirit in the middle of a storybook season for the Irish and cause them to lose some games, which would result somehow in huge profits for the bad guys. Who is ever going to be able to disprove that one?
This might also be a good point to throw in the fact that Manti has hired a team of experts to track down the people behind this scam so they never do it again, and he won't rest until they are found. (Hire O.J.'s guys if you can, if they're done looking for "the real killers.) At this point the media will be relieved they don't have to do any more work on the story because, obviously, Manti has it covered. It's a win-win for everyone.
I would finish with more apologies and tears and end with a odd twist that will really grab the ladies: thank the scammers for bringing the idea of Lennay into your life because "she" taught him so much about love and life (more crying) and, as a result, he'll be able to find true love in the future and continue his work fighting leukemia.
Finish with more crying, have the spark-plug blonde girlfriend hug Manti, and everyone walk away while the media take a few minutes to wipe away their tears.
You're welcome Manti. That'll be $5000. I'll send my girlfriend/lawyer/doctor over to collect the money later when she gets back from her Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue modeling gig.