As a Christmas rule, three things I can always bank on getting from my wonderful Mother are socks, underwear, and a new book to read. She always tries to make it something to keep my interest, as she knows from my school days that I am not much of a book reader. So, sports and biographies are generally a safe bet. I remember being particularly excited one Christmas, as my love of sports and numbers were combined in the newly released book on Billy Beane and his Moneyball mantra. She didn’t need to give many clues, and yes, the suspense was somewhat taken away, but I remember unwrapping this hard cover rectangular object, and the smile on her face as only one can get when they know they nailed it. As I peeled back the paper unveiling the words “Billy Bean,” my kool-aid grin surfaced and I assured her she had in fact nailed this gift. I opened the cover to read the inscription she always writes in books she gives as gifts. “Merry Christmas – I hope this serves as inspiration for you to be whatever it is you want.” What nice words, what a great gift, how awesome a Christmas this was shaping up to be. But then I flipped over to read the back cover. Unbeknownst to her, this was the story of former major leaguer Billy Bean, who came out of the closet and made his homosexuality public. In the immortal words of Seinfeld, not that there’s anything wrong with that. What now became more perplexing to me was the inscription “be what you want.” Did my Mother know something I didn’t? Turns out she was unaware of the difference. After all, who could possibly think two entirely different former Major League Baseball players of the same name would release a book in the same year, about two vastly different subjects. This tale of my past brings me to the current situation regarding Mantei Te’o and his now 16 minutes of fame and counting. Speculation is growing that he is in fact gay, but as we all know that’s a big no-no in professional sports. Truthfully, if he is, that makes the whole fake girlfriend thing entirely plausible, believable, and logical. You try being a Heisman finalist on the most well known college football institution (which happens to be a Catholic school), while your friends, teammates, and opponents question why you are never with girls. I think I would recruit my cousin as well, to help me fabricate a fictional long distance romance with a woman who’s life expectancy is minimal. Maybe it’s because I was born and raised in New York City, but in the world we currently live in, does it really matter? If the Pope can do it, what’s the problem with a football player doing the same? As long as he makes plays and helps my team win, I could care less what he does in his spare time. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
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Categories: Sports Commentary