The challenges of being an adult are vast and expansive, almost as difficult as those facing a child. That is why I'm encouraging us all to consider the Manti Te’o option of having an imaginary friend. If you're unfamiliar with Mister Te'o, he is the former Notre Dame linebacker who was the runner-up for this year's Heisman Trophy. He also helped his team, the Fighting Irish, to an undefeated regular season and a shot at the National Championship of college football. He also had an invisible girlfriend.
Maybe it says something about the stresses of big-time college football, or the quality of the education available at Notre Dame, but carrying on a relationship for three years with a person who only existed in the thin film of reality known as the Internet doesn't sound completely on the level. Unless, as I have suggested, this was done purely for the purposes of generating security in an otherwise dangerous and discouraging world. I quote the Atlanta Rhythm Section: "Imaginary lovers/Never turn you down/When all the others turn you away/They're around."
You're away from home. You're isolated from your friends and family. Your sole focus is on keeping your scholarship. A voice calls out in the night: "Hi, I'm Lennay." Did I mention that this is a kid who is going to a Catholic school? Sometimes imaginary is better than the reality. No sin in imagination, right?
Which brings us to Lance Armstrong. Why didn't he go the imaginary friend route? Perhaps, since the rest of his real friends have been thrown under the bus by the machine that was his competitive drive to be the best. If only he had told Oprah that a six foot three inch tall rabbit gave him the drugs.