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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – In light of the recent Manti Te’o hoax, more and more people have become readily familiar with the term “catfishing”. In this case, catfishing as it applies to the internet, not the actual fish itself.

The 2010 documentary, “Catfish”, (which is now a MTV reality show), is where term originated and where the act of deceiving one via the internet gets its name. In the documentary, a young man builds a romantic relationship with a young woman on the social networking website Facebook, only to find out, upon meeting the woman for the first time, she is not at all who she says she is and had been deceiving the young man all along.

This type of behavior is nothing new – especially in the digital age.

What is new, however, is the idea of a star athlete like Te’o being catfished.

Or is it, actually?

With Te’o’s story serving as the catalyst, other prominent athletes have lifted the veil unto their lives and slowly but surely revealed their own stories as it applies to being catfished.
University of South Carolina baseball star Michael Roth, who led the Gamecocks to back-to-back College Word Series titles tells the story of how he was almost the victim of a catfishing hoax, as well as how a fellow teammate did fall prey to the hoax.
Furthermore, former Denver Broncos tight end Nate Jackson tells his tale of being catfished and just how common it is in the National Football League.

Just recently, Jeff Darlington of NFL.com reported a person using a fake internet profile had been contacting members of the Washington Redskins from the pseudonym “Sidney Ackerman”. This profile used many different media platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, and even Facebook. This fake profile contacted so many of the players that a bulletin was posted in the locker room warning the Washington Redskins team members to stay away from this “Catfish” profile.

Only time will tell if catfishing is just a fad or a serious problem that the digital age has brought with it. Either way, I’m just hoping the next time I hear the term catfish it’s followed by, “Would you like that fried, grilled or baked?”

 

 

 

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