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Dr. Saturday

Thursday, September 12, the one-year anniversary of Lennay Kekua’s death

Nick Bromberg
Dr. Saturday

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Manti Te'o after beating Michigan State last year. (Getty)

A year ago, we were learning about the tragic week that Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o was going through after the passing of his grandmother on September 11, 2012 and his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua on September 12, 2012.

It was a story that transcended Notre Dame's run to the BCS title game; their star middle linebacker was spurred on by the deaths of two of the people he was closest to. The same week, Te'o played as Notre Dame beat Michigan State 20-3.

In January, we all saw the narrative fall apart, as it was revealed that Kekua didn't actually exist. Rather, she was a creation of Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. Te'o had been catfished, according to Notre Dame official, and he acknowledged that they had never met.

We found out later that Te'o had received a call from Tuiasosopo purporting to be Kekua on December 6, saying that Kekua's death had been faked. Really, nine months later, it's hard to believe just how crazy this story became.

Now, Te'o is with the Chargers, and our biggest love story in college football is between Katherine Webb and Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron. It was a seamless transition. Just a few days before the story of Lennay and Manti had been shattered, we had Katherine and AJ to turn to as our college football couple idols. And thanks to Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit, we've never had to question the veracity of her existence.

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