Maisel: Manti Te'o has got goodness

January, 23, 2013
1/23/13
3:00
PM ET
I believe Manti Te'o.

I believe he told the truth at Notre Dame. I believe he told the truth to ESPN correspondent Jeremy Schaap.

But you'll have to forgive me. I'm a sucker for Frank Capra movies.

As the story of Te'o's mythical girlfriend unfolded last week, as the former Fighting Irish linebacker became grist for the national snark mill, I began to realize that I had seen this film before.

The fresh-faced innocent becomes a hero. He gets his comeuppance. The cynics pounce. And in the final act, the innocent triumphs. He gets the girl. The movie ends, and we all go to the malt shop.

Capra made movies before and after World War II that remain among America's best-loved films. Capra immigrated to America from Sicily as a child. He loved his adopted country and he spoke from its gut in one film after another. His main characters stood up for values that we once told ourselves are quintessentially American: humility, modesty, doing the right thing even when it bucked the system.

To read the full column, click here.

Ivan Maisel | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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