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Dr. Phil: Te'o was victim of girlfriend hoax

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Dr. Phil: Te'o was victim of girlfriend hoax

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Dr. Phil McGraw says Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who masterminded the dead girlfriend hoax involving Manti Te'o, told him the Notre Dame linebacker was not involved in the scheme and that he ended up falling ``deeply, romantically'' in love with the football player.

McGraw spoke on the ``Today'' show Wednesday, previewing an interview he did with Tuiasosopo, a 22-year-old California man who created the fictional woman Te'o knew as Lennay Kekua. Tuiasosopo's interview with McGraw will air in two parts on the ``Dr. Phil Show'' starting Thursday.

Since the hoax was revealed earlier this month, Te'o has said the relationship with Kekua started online and eventually became serious, even though the two only talked on the phone and exchanged electronic messages, never meeting in person. Te'o said he was told of Kekua's ``death'' from leukemia just hours after his grandmother died in September.

McGraw said Tuiasosopo told him the voice of Kekua was his. Tuiasosopo and Te'o have each said that while the Kekua relationship went on for several years, there were times when they weren't in contact.

``There were many times where Manti and Lennay had broken up. But something would bring them back together whether it was something going on in his life, or in Lennay's life, in this case in my life,'' Tuiasosopo said.

Tuiasosopo said he wanted to end the relationship between Kekua and Te'o before he had to fake Kekua's death.

``I wanted to end it because everything I had gone through, I finally realized that I just had to move on with my life and I had to get me, Ronaiah, I had to start just living and let this go,'' Tuiasosopo said.

Te'o's publicist, Matthew Hiltzik, declined comment on behalf of Te'o and his family.

When the ruse was reported by Deadspin.com on Jan. 16, the report raised the questions about whether Te'o was involved. The story about how he played inspirationally after the deaths of his girlfriend and grandmother led to an outpouring of support from Notre Dame fans. It became the backdrop to the Fighting Irish's undefeated regular season and run to the BCS championship, where they lost to Alabama.

Te'o won seven national awards for his play and was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. He has denied any involvement from the beginning, and Notre Dame said an investigation of the player's claims backed up his story.

``The feelings, the pain, the sorrow, that was all real,'' Te'o told Katie Couric in an interview last week.

McGraw says ``absolutely, unequivocally'' Te'o had no role in creating the hoax.

Te'o said he first learned that something was amiss when Keuka called him on Dec. 6, and told him she had faked her death.

He told his parents about what had happened while home for Christmas break and called Notre Dame coaches on Dec. 26 to let them know. Notre Dame officials said that they interviewed Te'o and retained Stroz Friedberg, a New York computer forensics firm, to investigate the case. They learned on Jan. 3 that there were no records indicating Lennay Kekua existed.

McGraw said he spent hours with Tuiasosopo and his parents, saying he had a number of life experiences that ``damaged this young man in some very serious ways.''

McGraw said Tuiasosopo had feelings for Te'o.

``Here we have a young man that fell deeply, romantically in love,'' McGraw said.

McGraw said he asked Tuiasosopo if he is gay.

``He said, `Well, when you put it that way, yes.' Then he caught himself and said, `I am confused,''' McGraw said.

Te'o also was asked by Couric if he is gay. Te'o said ``no'' with a laugh. ``Far from it. Faaaar from that,'' he said.

Te'o said in the interview with Couric that Tuiasosopo tweeted him a direct message on Jan. 16, saying he had been behind the hoax. The message read: ``I completely accept the consequences to the pain I've caused & it's important that you know the truth before anyone else.''

Te'o told Couric that Tuiasosopo later called him and explained what he did.

``He didn't say why. He just explained that he just wanted to help people and that was his way of helping people. Of being someone that he wasn't and trying to connect with somebody on a different level to help them out,'' Te'o said.

Te'o said he didn't say much to Tuiasosopo.

``I just found that everything that I believed to be my reality wasn't my reality at all,'' Te'o said.

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Capitals see series lead evaporate after narrow Game 4 loss

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USA Today Sports

Capitals see series lead evaporate after narrow Game 4 loss

The Capitals brought a 2-0 series lead with them to Carolina. It will return to Washington tied at 2.

The Caps looked much better on Thursday than in their disastrous Game 3 loss, but the result was still the same with Washington coming up short in a 2-1 defeat.

The series now turns to a best of three with Games 5 and 7 in Washington. Game 5 will take place on Saturday.

Here are three reasons Washington lost.

The first minute

After a brutal Game 3, getting off to a good start in Game 4 was a must. The Capitals did not do that.

If a defenseman decides to cheat up into the offensive zone, he has to have support. Matt Niskanen cheated up to close off the wall, but Carolina was able to get the puck out and the rush was on. Niskanen was playing catch up with Jaccob Slavin the entire rush. Justin Williams found Slavin who set up Warren Foegele for his third goal of the series. It came just 17 seconds into the game.

Just 36 seconds later, Jakub Vrana was whistled for charging Jordan Martinook, a horribly unnecessary penalty.

After their worst playoff game since 2013, Washington's initial response one minute into the game was to give up a goal and a penalty. Not ideal.

The final minute of the second period

Despite the brutal start, Washington settled in and was really the better team from midway in the first period through the entire second period. Alex Ovechkin tied the game at 1 on the power play and it looked like the Caps were finally back in control…until the final minute of the second.

As time ticked away in the period, Sebastian Aho had the puck in the neutral zone. He was pressured to the right side by Lars Eller and dropped the puck to Nino Niederreiter who was waiting at the blue line. Inexplicably, Brooks Orpik moved over to the side as well despite the fact that Dmitry Orlov was there in front of Niederreiter. That left the middle wide open. Niederreiter found a streak Teuvo Teravainen and Orpik, who was out of position caught on the wrong side, was not able to recover in time. Teravainen scored to put Carolina up 2-1.

Washington had been the better team the entire period but had nothing to show for it, giving up a goal with 27.9 seconds remaining in the second period. The Caps entered the period down one and left he period down one.

Caps fail to cash in on critical power play

Ovechkin's second period goal snapped a streak of 12-straight power plays without a goal. When handed a critical power play late in the game, however, Washington came up short.

Foegele took a boarding penalty as he cross-checked T.J. Oshie in the back sending him awkwardly into the boards with just over five minutes remaining in the game. With the chance to tie the game on arguably the most important power play of the series, Washington came up short with the extra man. Granted, the loss of Oshie certainly did not help. He did not return in the game.

The Caps finished with one goal on three power play opportunities. Not terrible, but with a chance to tie the game and take back control of the series late in the third, that's a goal you have to have.

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Meet the group of friends saving up for matching Caps tattoos

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NBCSW

Meet the group of friends saving up for matching Caps tattoos

Charlie Sutton’s nails garnered lots of attention at the official Game 4 watch party, as her blue, white and red “LET'S GO CAPS” nails sparkled among the sea of red jerseys.

“I was originally just going to make the nails have the colors and sparkles, but I realized I had enough fingers to write out ‘Let’s Go Caps,’ so that’s what I did!” she said.

Sutton grew up in Idaho following the Steelheads. “We moved to Maryland five years ago because my dad’s in the military and he got stationed here, so when he did I thought, ‘Hey, there’s an NHL team here!’ and started following the Caps then. I've been a huge fan since” she said.

Sutton was at the watch party with her two friends, Hannah Steele and Amye Elfin. Steele’s father worked in Northern Virginia when the Capitals organization started and sold them equipment. “He’s probably the first Caps fan ever,” she joked. Elfin’s father was a sports journalist for the Washington Times when Alexander Ovechkin was drafted, creating a Capitals lineage in their family.

“This has been my whole life,” Elfin said.

The three friends are hardcore Capitals fans, saving enough money to get Capitals-themed tattoos together. Elfin already has three blue and red stars tattooed on her left arm: “I got this done at Tattoo Paradise, where the Caps got their tattoos done!”

“We were way too broke to get that tattoo with her,” Sutton said, laughing with Steele. “But we’ve been coming up with lots of ideas and thinking about placement together.”

The three joked about getting Lars Eller’s abs tattooed on their stomachs, skate laces tattooed over their feet or the entire Stanley Cup tattooed over their spines.

Realistically, though, Sutton said that they plan to get something small to memorialize their favorite team.

“Ovechkin has ‘Sergei’ on his gloves, so maybe I’ll get that on the bottom of my hand where it is on his gloves,” Sutton said. Steele said that she might get the year 2019 for the team’s Stanley Cup victory, or a jersey number or two.

Check in with us when you’re at the parlor!

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