One of the very clever bits from the Broadway show Avenue Q is a song called “My Girlfriend who Lives in Canada.” The Urban Dictionary defines this term as “a lie invented by hundreds if not thousands of geeky high school boys who can't get any dates and don't want to appear pathetic.”
In Avenue Q, the closeted character Rod pretends to have a girlfriend in Canada to cover up his homosexuality. When I heard about the fact that Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o had an imaginary girlfriend, I immediately thought of this song.
Maybe things have changed in college since I was a student—but way back then, it was pretty easy for football players to score live, human girlfriends. Yeah, a few had hometown honeys, but mostly they could just swagger into any classroom, dorm or campus hangout and girls would flock around.
So what caused this guy to settle for some phone calls, emails and text messages? Did whoever perpetrated the hoax do such a great job that Te’o was willing to forego F2F contact? Or maybe this girlfriend who lived (and died) in California was the same kind of cover Rod in Avenue Q was looking for?