Welcome to a special edition of Dead Letters, featuring every angry email that was sent to us in the days since publishing our Manti Te'o story. We should take this moment to remind you that all emails to Deadspin and its editors are on the record unless otherwise specified. Now for your letters.

Subject: With regards to the Te'o story...

From: Timothy Pezanko
To: Deadspin staff

I'm not sure when I grew tired of the repetitive "so-and-so deserves to be taken down" bit your site likes to propagate, but it was somewhat obvious when you went for Favre-Sterger. Ok, I get it, Big name hero is a dick to some younger girl.

I compare it to what's happening now with your persecution of Te'o. You act like he stole a crippled kid's porridge. Yet you should only be navel gazing, for you lacked the ability to back-check the story at the time, instead of waiting 4 months to do your homework. Were you lazy? Wouldn't this have made more sense to release before the BCS game? Your site has shown a clear disdain to our school for years now; frankly, I find it surprising that you would sit on this story so long.

I'm not here to defend him; he can do that himself at the combine, which none of us will ever be invited to.

I'm just here to point out that you're all on a blog for a reason; frankly, I hope that someday you can aspire to bringing a positive light to the sports world, instead of trying to drag everyone down to a Favre-dongshot level. Also, you owe it to your readers to present both sides of the story. You have so far bombarded the reading public with "Te'o made up a fake girl friend and was complicit in it" without bothering to offer a take on the "ESPN just found out that Te'o was 100% innocent of it and got conned by a group of people."

This is why no one will ever take you seriously as a news organization.

Tim Pezanko
Dillon Hall, Class of 2003, University of Notre Dame

(Should I forward this to Denton? Or did he get pushed out with AJ?)

From: Tom Scocca
To: Nick Denton

Dear Nick,

Timothy Pezanko here has some concerns about our coverage and some thoughts about the overall tone of the site. Wanted to make sure to share them with you.


From: Nick Denton
To: Tom Scocca

Publish the letter.

Subject: Te'o

From: Mark Cunningham
To: Deadspin staff

Here's a tip:
If you don't have the facts don't run with the story, because you guys are looking like fools. Or is that what Deadspin does- puts a story out there and see if it sticks? One other thing, whoever was on CNN doing the interview, you looked like a fool and couldn't even backup your facts in this story. Did you have marbles in your mouth. If you think your a news outlet make sure you deliver the correct news or you'll always be Deadspin.

Subject: big Manti tip

From: thebellabar
To: Deadspin staff

here is a tip

befor you ruin a person life. try to make sure you got the story right. You guys at dogspin.co have zero credility now... you have zero proof that teo had anything to do with the story you broke. You got NOTHING

what a joke

adios aholes

From: Isaac Rauch
To: thebellabar


We appreciate your e-mail but must inform you that this isn't the address for dogspin.co. This is the address for Deadspin.com.

All the best,


Subject: Manti Te'o Reporting

From: Matthew Rupp
To: Deadspin staff

I think this qualifies as a "tip." After gathering all the available information regarding the Manti Te'o story, I'm 80% certain you don't know what the fuck you're talking about. And, after watching John Koblin on CNN today, I'm 100% certain he's an idiot. So, Tip #1 is to get your facts straight before you ruin lives and Tip #2 is not to let this Koblin guy speak in public.

Subject: confession

From: "Ronaiah Tuiasosopo"
To: Deadspin staff

This is my side of the story...

I am gay and so is Te'o. He was in on it and I was covering for him the whole time.

I will be happy to answer any questions via email only.

Subject: manti te'o

From: Mark S. Prill
To: Jack Dickey

This is to Jack Dickey. Are you Gay? I am going to send this to you as often as I can and on as many media sites as possible until someone else sees it and then starts asking you that question as if it were the truth. Then, you will be "gay by association." That's exactly what you are doing to Manti T'eo...digging for dirt that isn't even there, but keeping the doubt alive. Trying to make him seem guilty before the evidence is in. I can only imagine why you are doing this! Perhaps because you are one of those Notre Dame haters (oh, they're out there.) In similar kind, I'm presenting the "Gay" angle because I've seen your interview on TV and you seem ...."suspect."
You guys seem to think if you keep "it" out there enough, it will make it true. Some "big cover up" to disgrace Notre Dame. I only see a young college kid, a football player (probably not that bright or experienced) who got taken for a ride, lied to his family about how he met some girl (wow...a college kid who isn't very knowledgeable in life lying to his parents about how he met someone...news at 11...I must have lied to my parents 100 times in college...oh...maybe you never went to college) and then decided to not tell the media about it when he found out something was awry.....as per the University's suggestion to him because, guess what?...none of your business. You don't have to be told the truth! I loved hearing that exact same response from the attorney on "Good Morning America." The media didn't require the truth, a lie or anything. There is no law broken because he lied to his parents about how he met her. There is no law broken that there was no girlfriend...even IF he knew there wasn't one. In fact, that sounds like "A Weekend At Bernies" part 5 or "Animal House" or "American Pie" or ....well, you get it...a comedy about some stupid college kid who made up a story about having a gorgeous girlfriend that didn't exist!!!! Not some criminal, deception the University Of Notre Dame has perpetrated, thus tainting it's image!!! So, even if this were true...why are you giving it the attention it doesn't deserve? I sense that you belong to "Notre Dame Haters, NOT Anonymous," because you are being obvious.
The "media" does not have the right to know everything...even "the truth." You may WANT to know it, but you don't have a right to know it. And don't say the kid is a "role model" and should be forthcoming of all things in his personal life. No child— kindergarten, grade school, high school or college should have that onus. Manti is still a kid...a college kid too busy with school AND football to probably even travel to Hawaii to see a girlfriend. Did it ever occur to you he might be that busy? School AND football...Notre Dame curriculum AND Notre Dame football? And I'm not even sure ADULTS should be "role models." (especially athletes!!!) We are human...we make mistakes.
In this case, it appears Manti Te'o 's only mistake was being naive....ok...stupid. Give the kid a break. He broke no law, one way or the other. And the "other" right now...from evidence and what he has said in interview and from what others have relayed suggests he had nothing to do with it. I had a relationship with a pathological liar for over 8 months when I was in my 30's and believed a LOT because of how well concocted the scam was. Sociopaths/ pathological liars are very good at what they do. You need to be better at what you do and not speculate or perpetuate titillating gossip and " what-ifs." PLEASE let this unfold without your prejudice. It seems to me you have a little of that on your agenda. You have forum that is accessible to many. Use it wisely. Mark S. Prill

Subject: Dead Spin

From: Jon
To: Deadspin staff

With regard to recent reporting I have it on 80% certainty that the Deadspin site is dropping the spin from it's name and will now simply be Dead. Thanks.

Subject: Manti Te'o

From: Kevin McCarthy
To: Deadspin staff

Deadspin = Deadwrong!



Sent from my iPad

Subject: Te'o tip

From: Mike J. Ryan
To: Deadspin staff

Here's a tip…this guy in the video is a smarmy idiot. You folks should be ashamed…but in today's world of so-called journalism I doubt that. Just shameful.

Mike Ryan
Senior Vice President | Principal | Central California
Office/Office Warehouse Properties Group
Lic # 01099109
Colliers International
7485 North Palm Avenue, Suite 110 | Fresno, CA 93711 | USA

From: Tom Scocca
To: Mike J. Ryan

I'm not sure you know what "smarmy" means, here.

From: Mike J. Ryan
To: Tom Scocca

I absolutely know what "smarmy" means. He defines it further for those unsure of the definition in that video. And, I also know what "honest reporting" means. A definition foreign to your and his ilk. You're trifles.

From: Tom Scocca
To: Mike J. Ryan

No, see, THAT'S smarmy, right there.

Subject: The ESPN interview has made Deadspin look like total liars.

From: Chris Hegedus
To: Deadspin staff

Maybe you all should of checked your facts before trying to ruin Te'o. Burke and the fat guy with man-titties should be held accountable and lose their jobs over your bullshit story.

I hope Notre Dame's lawyers sue your 2nd rate "news" website, causing Deadshit to file for bankruptcy.

You fucking lying assholes.

From: Tom Scocca
To: Chris Hegedus

Thanks for writing. Are you the documentary filmmaker Chris Hegedus or a different one?

From: Chris Hegedus
To: Tom Scocca

By the way, are you the fat dude from Deadspin they keep showing on TV? One of the guys who "broke the story"? The one who has bigger tits than Pamela Anderson?

Join a fucking gym.

In the meantime, go down to Walmart and pick yourself up a bra.

From: Tom Scocca
To: Chris Hegedus

So you're not the filmmaker, then?

Subject: Your "80%" source?

From: Duane Blaine
To: Deadspin staff

May you rot in hell for ruining the life a a decent kid...and disparaging a fine University.

Subject: no subject

From: Michael Jeary
To: Deadspin staff

you look like a douche on tv. Um...um..i like balls....um..tao..um.um

Subject: Te'o Headline

From: Mike Hoffman
To: Deadspin staff

Dear Deadspin,

Please forward this to the idiot responsible for the front-page headlines (or Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey, if they chose the headline below):

ESPN Reports Ronaiah Tuisosopo Confessed To Te'o Hoax In December. Was Te'o Involved? Evidence Varies

A clarification is in order. The phrase "evidence varies" could not possibly make less sense. The evidence does not, and cannot vary. Either Te'o was involved or he wasn't: one and only one of those statements can be true. And if you have "evidence" of the false statement, then it's not evidence. I would think that any outlet claiming to produce something that can be called "journalism" would know that — even the sports equivalent of TMZ (unlike ESPN, I don't mean that as a compliment).

On the other hand, congratulations on being so trigger-happy about breaking stories with insufficient evidence that you were able to be first on the scene for this one. I'm sure no innocent people ever get hurt by your shock-and-awe style of, ahem, journalism.

Michael Hoffman

Subject: What's the requirement for being a reporter, writer or editor at Deadspin — high school GED or equivalent?

From: Bob Powers
To: Deadspin staff

[no text]

From: Tom Scocca
To: Bob Powers

Nope, no educational requirement whatsoever. We'll consider all candidates. Check here for job openings: http://gawker.com/jobsatgawker/ — and thanks for your interest!

From: Bob Powers
To: Tom Scocca

No, that was a joke. I just saw a replay of John Koblin's performance on CNN. As a professional, you all should be embarrassed both by his performance (probably the worst interview that I've ever seen on live television) and your coverage of the entire Manti Teo saga. Yes, you broke the story, but you made a lot of false assumptions about a kid with great character based upon the comment of 1 kid who was 80% sure that Manti was involved. Is that the new standard of journalism in your on-line world? Can I make up a story and you rush to judgement on anyone due to my one statement.

Where is the proof? There is none, so those innuendos should not have been printed. That's why John looked like such a fool when they asked him to provide "proof" that Teo was involved….there is none.

From: Tom Scocca
To: Bob Powers

Out of curiosity, who is banging away at this 80-percent business today? We keep getting emails about it, sometimes with "irish" in the handle-is it a message-board thing now?

I ask because when the story broke, most people were taking the quote at face value: here's one person speculating and being open about his degree of uncertainty. It's not just people who were Te'o's defenders-even people who were taking glee in the story and blaming Te'o weren't waving that particular quote around much as something dispositive.

Now people seem to be trying to convince each other that the story pivoted on that, which it didn't. The story pivoted on the fact that the girlfriend never existed.

At this point, the question seems to be whether, while Te'o was spending months spreading a bunch of misrepresentations and falsehoods about his relationship with her, he actually knew she was fake-that is, whether his own hype campaign was a separate hoax from Tuiasosopo's original hoax. It certainly could have been, but it's going to take a lot more sifting through the evidence.

At any rate, nobody here is really sweating it if anyone didn't do well on TV. TV's hard to do.

Subject: Teo

From: JDineen103
To: Tim Burke

If only journalists put this much energy into outing the crimes that led to the death and subsequent coverup of the four Americans killed in Benghazi....rather than dethroning an outstanding young man

Subject: Why so soft on Schaap?

From: John Ziegler
To: Dom Cosentino

Are you guys gathering ammo for the destruction Schaap deserves or are you guys in now full face saving retreat? You can't have it both ways. Unless Schaap is destroyed, you guys are going to look bad here.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Subject: hey shithead

From: Matt Marinovich
To: Dom Cosentino

what's the point of the article? to set up the sickeningly lame comments of your pathetically built-in audience? offer a response or two in the comments you fucking coward

Sent from my iPhone

Subject: Present all the facts next time

From: Andrew Fair
To: Tim Burke

Congrats. You "broke" the Te'o story. In your haste, though, you failed to fairly present all the facts. You do realize that ESPN held this story because of too many uncertainties.

While you never say it you no doubt imply that Te'o was involved in the hoax. Look at your headline! Your source? It seems a "friend" of Te'o's who was "80 percent" sure he knew. Really? Whatever happened to more than one reliable source? Did you even talk to ND or fellow teammates? You buried the cat fish angle but that is a very real possibility. ND investigators reportly have proof. Did you know that this "woman" called Te'o on the 26th? Did you know lots of people fall victim to cat fishing? Did you know her name is backwards for the Hawaiian word for leukemia? These seem like important facts.

Maybe he was in on it, but to imply he was without presenting all of the facts is reckless. Frankly I'm growing increasingly wary of the social media urgency relegating journalistic integrity and innocent until proven guilty to the dust pan of history. Maybe Te'o is a confused soul or maybe he is a victim. If the latter shame on you for ruining his reputation.

Subject: Your extreme effort

From: Adam Szabo
To: Tim and Dickey

Maybe you should place more focus and energy on topics that are more important rather than embarrassing a young man. I think your reporting is sick, selfish and misleading. The only thing you appear to be trying to accomplish is embarrassing and hurting Manti and his family.

I think you both should be ashamed of yourselves and I hope overtime you look in the mirror one day and realize you truly embarrassed and caused additional hurt to good person.

Report that.

With no respect intended,

Adam K Szabo

Subject: ND

From: Sky Brown
To: Tim Burke

Idk man. It seems to me, a viewer of the Today show, that you were trying harder to make a name for yourself and your online rag than the ND football player. Looking forward to seeing how thus turns out.

Sky B

Subject: Notre Dame liar

From: Robert Bowie Johnson
To: Tim and Dickey

Why don't you do a similar story about the many fake people in Obama's life?


Subject: You are trash

From: Peter Van Brunt
To: Tim Burke

[no text]

Subject: no subject

From: Matthew Frawley
To: Tim Burke

hope they sue your ass for libel.

Sent from my iPad

Subject: Hey

From: Michael Tigue
To: Tim Burke

What happened to your headline story?

Where's all the biased slams against Teo?

Wondering if you have the integrity to apologize for the crap you spun?

Or, if that investigative journalistic horseshit you pitched is really just tabloid bullshit.

Way to defame a truly fine young man.

Be sure to hold your head high

Subject: no subject

From: Matthew Frawley
To: Tim Burke

I'm 100% sure your a fucking idiot!!! Check your "facts" next time you HACK!
Sent from my iPad

Subject: 80% Sure

From: Michael Quigley
To: Tim Burke

You need to start looking for another job. You suck, you're irresponsible, and it must hurt every day when you shave and look in the mirror at a fraud. Have fun living in mom's basement and serving lattes at Starbucks douchebag!

Subject: news tip

From: Brian Kronewitter
To: Deadspin staff

Deadspin should do a story about journalistic integrity and being prepared for interviews. Here is a link that should get you started.

Subject: Teo

From: Bryan Cullen
To: Jack Dickey

Apology for the pushing the theme that he orchestrated the whole thing for publicity? Not holding my breath. Any dishonesty he had was embarrassment about the nature of the relationship – not the existence of one. Don't you think based upon the ridicule he is receiving that he may have been right about that?

Next article about going into the personal lives of college athletes that don't go class and have a bunch of babies out of wedlock. No dishonesty there.

Bryan C. Cullen
Managing Director – Agency Loan Originations
Centerline Capital Group

Subject: Manti

From: Daniel Maloof
To: Jack Dickey

It's pretty interesting how much you pretend to know/imply having not personally talked to or heard from literally anyone involved in the story. You're honestly writing as if you're a Fox News columnist attempting to spin a positive economic report. In other news, I'm looking forward to your "JJ Watt played a great game this week" column after the Pro Bowl.

Subject: Congrats

From: Kyle Swatkowski
To: Jack Dickey

You took down a naive Mormon kid. Good deal. Stick to Espin.

Kyle Swatkowski

Subject: No subject

From: Judee Flick
To: Jack Dickey

I'm confused. You're investigation consisted of gathering everything written about the relationship from TV, and print media then comparing the dates and facts what each of them said or printed, showing what exactly? That the media get's it wrong?

Anyone on Twitter or Facebook, etc. knows that you can be whoever you want to be. Because Manti believed or wanted to believe doesn't make him a liar, it's just makes him a love struck guy. And quoting a friend who is" 80% sure Manti was 'in on it" is journalism?

Your article insinuates that this was all a fraud with no proof. What will you do if you are wrong? Say I'm sorry in fine print?


Subject: "journalist" my ass

From: Trevor J. Medeiros
To: Jack Dickey

I hope you and your little fag anti-Notre Dame partner in crime get cancer and die a slow and painful death. On the underwear that is the dying world of scumbag, tabloid journalism, you and your retarded lover are nothing more than irrelevant and minute shitstains. Fuck you both and your families.

Signed with great pleasure,

Trevor Medeiros

Update: Our friend Trevor is a writer for Bleacher Report, because of course he is.

Subject: nice reporting jack ass

From: Logic L.
To: Jack Dickey

have you seen this: https://mobile.twitter.com/ceeweezy51?p=s

Subject: nice job!

From: Moni Bulloni
To: Jack Dickey

Are you two sock puppet hacks happy now?
Teo's a fraud and a dope – big fucking deal!
You've gone viral courtesy of Drudge – again, big fucking deal!
I hope you've exercised your anti-Notre Dame, anti-Catholic, anti-Mormon demons and will now get down to real and meaningful investigative reporting.
What say you fudge-packing jackwagons expend just half as much effort exposing obama's fraud, pathological lies, and high crimes?
Or is it, little timmy, that ‘bubbaprog' is leftist code for "I'm a progressive in love with BJ Clinton", and the other douchebag is too busy jack[ing] his dickey to videos of dear leader maobama spewing lies and shitting on the Constitution?
Enjoy your 15 minutes, cocksuckers!

The Koblin letters

Wanna see a choke? This is me Albert Brooksing all over Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room, the CNN appearance mentioned in all the emails up there. Apparently, repeating the proper pronunciation of "Ronaiah Tuiasosopo" in the mirror is not the proper way to prepare for a TV appearance. Thanks to whoever put this on YouTube; thanks to Barstool Sports for posting it; and thanks to all of you for writing such kind letters.—John Koblin

Subject: No subject

From: Matthew Frawley
To: John Koblin

'm 100% sure your going to get sued for libel. You looked like you
were sweating during your CNN interview. Looks like your claim is
starting to unravel. Bwahhhhhaaaa

Sent from my iPad

Subject: That was an interesting interview you gave on CNN

From: wiz3dfx
To: John Koblin

Ummmm...will you post that on your website, please?

Or do you reserve your snark only for others concerning the Manti Teo story?

And just because you got a tip, doesn't mean you are Woodward and Bernstein. Get a hold of yourselves and try and try a little harder.

Or just stick to the re-posting of YouTube videos.

Subject: Nice job

From: Michael Quigley
To: John Koblin

Thanks for the hilarious CNN interview. You demonstrated what an
amateur hack looks pretending to be a "journalist". You're a fraud
and you know it buddy. Come out of the closet and admit you suck.

Subject: Bravo

From: James Murphy
To: John Koblin

Hey John,

I took the liberty of forwarding the video to Tosh.O. Wouldn't that
be great if it makes one of their episodes?