For Deadspin, few stories have given them more praise, coverage, and views than the debunking of the story of Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o’s dead girlfriend, Lennay Kekuka. The story came to them “from a reader’s tip last Friday afternoon around 4:30,” according to one of the site’s writers, and has, as of this posting, been viewed some 2.79 million times and retweeted 16,000 times. The only story that’s been bigger for the site (so far)? When Deadspin published inappropriate pictures that Brett Favre sent then in -house sideline reporter Jenn Sterger.
Those aren’t the only big online numbers the Te’o story has created.
At least 21 major newspapers, magazines, and sports websites reported the existence of Lennay Kekuka, including Sports Illustrated, ESPN, The New York Times. As SB Nation points out, you probably told a friend as well.
A Twitter user who joked about being Lennay Kekuka after Notre Dame lost the BCS championship game earlier this month said he’s received “over 1,000 new followers. If only 989 [weren’t] threatening my life …” His connection, if any, to the confusing situation is unclear.
More than $4,000 has been donated to a campaign to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Inc, much of it in Kekuka’s honor (the group noted on Wednesday that the money was going toward the cancer charity).
A Twitter account claiming to belong to Kekuka which reappeared sometime late Wednesday has 9,637 followers as of press time. (The account is following four people and has tweeted three times.)
Manti Te’o’s Twitter account, for that matter, has more than 182,000 followers. But being a famous football player and all, it’s not clear how many of those came post-scandal.
Forbes reports that if the scandal caused Te’o to fall out of the top 10 in the NFL draft, he would lose approximately $4,000,000 in his rookie contract.
Yahoo! Sports reporter Pat Forde reported that Te’o will do one sit-down interview with a TV reporter today (ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap).