For the past couple of years, some of the most talked about cards from Topps Triple Threads Baseball are those of fictional or historical characters. In 2011, Topps inserted cards of fictional characters John Henry, Leif Ericson and Pecos Bill. In 2012, Topps strayed from fictional and went with historical characters that some people think are fictional but actually are real: Davy Crockett, Casey Jones, and Daniel Boone.
Well, in 2013, Topps is returning to its roots for actual fictional characters, and today, it indicated that the first character will be: Lennay Kekua.
"You know, those fictional inserts are always a little bit controversial," a fictional Topps employee commented, "Not just because of the John Henry lawsuit, but also because the cards haven't been tied in with sports. Now, we do have a tie in with sports with Lennay Kekua. It’s not often you get a relic card of a Heisman Trophy candidate’s fictional girlfriend!"
Lennay Kekua is the imaginary girlfriend of Notre Dame's Manti Te'O, made famous by the fact that she allegedly died right before Notre Dame played Michigan State. The heartbreaking story rallied the Fighting Irish and secured Te'o's legacy as he was brilliant in that game.
"We really thought people could relate to this card. I mean, how many boys didn't have a 'girlfriend' when they were ten-years old at camp? Sure, when they got back, they told their friends she lived in Canada and they'd never see her again, but noboy ever got hurt," another fictional Topps employee commented.
Triple Threads is also known for the quippy sayings included on its cards. For Kekua's card, Topps outdid itself with the saying, "Notre Dame? Not a Dame!" An alternate "Catfish" version will also maybe makes its way into packs.
"We wanted to use 'iGirlfriend' because she was imaginary and an Internet girlfriend, but our lawyers pointed out that everything Apple makes or does starts with an 'i' and Apple's attorneys just won a billion dollars. We decided to play it safe," said a fictional representative from Topps law department.
I've also heard reports that the card designers are considering having the card autographed by Te'O. I think that's a good decision. But wait, an Academic All-American falling for a prank like this? Or a Heisman Trophy candidate having an Internet girlfriend, and not one in real life? Come on, he's got to be a fictional character too. Right?
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