The good news for San Diego Chargers linebacker Manti Te’o is that he’s fully healed and back out on the field for the first time in his NFL career. The bad news, though, is he now gets to hear all the Lennay Kekua jokes over and over and over again.
Te’o, you might recall, had a fake girlfriend during his time at Notre Dame. That was supposedly unbeknownst to Te’o — the fact that the girlfriend was fake, not the fact that he had a girlfriend — as he was “catfished,” as the kids say. Things got even dicier when that girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, supposedly died. That made the charismatic Te’o a sympathetic figure, as he was supposedly playing to honor his dead girlfriend.
But again, the girlfriend didn’t actually exist. Deadspin got to the bottom of everything earlier this year, and it turned into one of the biggest sports stories of the year. It was expected that Te’o would take some flak for that from opposing teams’ fan bans. That’s especially true when you realize that as a Charger, Te’o would have to make a trip to Oakland every year to face the Raiders.
Sunday night was Te’o’s first taste of the Chargers-Raiders rivalry and his first visit to the Black Hole. Raiders fans were ready for him, too. One fan went as far to mock Te’o by making a big black banner honoring Lennay Kekua, as it read “R.I.P. Lennay Kekua” with the date Sept. 12, 2012. That’s the date Te’o’s fake girlfriend fake died.
Check out the banner below.
Photo via Twitter@LeviDamien