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PETA uses Manti Te'o in faux-chicken ad: 'Sometimes faking it is better'

5:27 PM, Jan 28, 2013   |    comments
In a photo provided by ESPN, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o pauses during an interview with ESPN on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, in Bradenton, Fla. (Photo: Ryan Jones, AP)
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The folks behind the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals will combine two American fascinations, the Super Bowl and the Manti Te'o hoax, to publicize the use of "faux-chicken" recipes at your next tailgate.

Everything in that sentence is true.

Credit the legwork to Matt Hinton of CBSSports.com (and Sunday Morning Quarterback), who writes that PETA hopes to erect a billboard in New Orleans before the crowd descends upon the city for Sunday night's Super Bowl. The advertisement PETA has submitted for approval features a picture of Te'o, the All-American linebacker, with the tagline "Sometimes faking it is better."

Underneath, in the small print, the billboard reads "Score faux-chicken Super Bowl recipes at PETA.org."

If you can recall, Te'o has said he was the victim of a "catfishing" hoax involving a non-existent girlfriend, Lennay Kekua. While Te'o believed that Kekua had died on Sept. 12, he learned in December - and for a time failed to divulge the truth - that she was a hoax, one allegedly perpetrated by an acquaintance, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.

PETA said in a release:

"Manti Te'o may have been buffaloed by a fake girlfriend, but sometimes 'fake' is actually better. That's why PETA created this billboard urging football fans to avoid unnecessary roughness to chickens on Super Bowl Sunday by intentionally grounding real chicken wings and opting for play-action fake fowl instead."
PETA does not care for the way chicken wings are actually prepared, typically in a lovely and delicious glaze of oil and fat before being deep-fried to delicious, finger-smacking deliciousness.

While there might be a holdup on the billboard based on its use of Te'o's likeness, Hinton quotes PETA media officer Wendy Wegner: "PETA's counsel has reviewed the use of Te'o's image and the Notre Dame logo in this context, and PETA thinks that the use is appropriate."

Says PETA, "This Super Bowl Sunday, opt for healthy and humane faux wings. That way, nobody gets hurt."

Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY Sports

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