Manti Te'o Hoax Sparks Internet Meme

How do you "Te'o"? Pretend to have a girlfriend

Thursday, Jan 17, 2013  |  Updated 2:46 PM CDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Notre Dame Athletic Director Speaks of Te'o

Ernest Wilkins

Ernest Wilkins: "Oh you know, just doing a little Te'o-ing."

advertisement
Photos and Videos

Manti Te'o May Never Recover: Psychiatrist

A stunning series of events involving a Notre Dame football player, social media and an elaborate hoax. Star Linebacker Manti Te'o is at the center of the controversy. NBC 7's Tony Shin talks with San Diego psychiatrist Clark Smith, M.D.

Notre Dame Athletic Director Speaks of Te'o

A published story that Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o's girlfriend had died of leukemia was dismissed by the university Wednesday as a hoax perpetrated against the linebacker.
More Photos and Videos

That didn't take long.

Hours after Manti Te'o described the "incredibly embarrassing" story of his purportedly fake late girlfriend who pretended to die of leukemia -- thereby hoodwinking the Notre Dame linebacker and preying on his emotions -- "Te'o-ing" became a meme.

How do you "Te'o"? Pretend to have a girlfriend. 

A round of photos featuring guys and gals putting an arm around their imaginary date spun around the web beginning last night. It's near-impossible to pinpoint the origin of a meme, but Chicago is never one to be left out of the mix.

Ernest Wilkins, a digital producer at a Chicago publication, said he was just trying to be funny when he posted on Facebook a shot of himself beside an imaginary someone, smiling and pointing at the empty space.

The caption: "Oh you know, just doing a little Te'o-ing."

The photo got passed around on the Internet, and Wilkins received texts and calls from people he hasn't spoken to in years asking about the pic. By Thursday morning, the photo had landed on at least six sites along with other photos from people he doesn't know. 

Meanwhile, the questions keep coming regarding Te'o and his alleged girlfriend. The University of Notre Dame's athletic director called the linebacker the victim of a "very elaborate, very sophisticated hoax."

Breaking sports news video. MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL highlights and more.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get Our Weather App
Stay ahead of the storm with the NBC 5... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out