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Thursday, Jul 31st

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Freedom first out of the gate on Manti Te'o promo

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Florence Freedom

It was inevitable someone in minor-league baseball would jump on the whole Manti Te'o weirdness and come out with a promo. Ladies and gentleman, we have a winner: the Florence Freedom (independent; Frontier League), who announced plans for a girlfriend bobblehead.

Manti Te'o is the Notre Dame linebacker and Heisman Trophy finalist whose road to the BCS Championship Game included the tragic tale of a girlfriend dying of leukemia (after surviving a serious car accident, no less) just a day after (or a day before, depending on the account) his grandmother died. Those tragedies were mentioned repeatedly on every game broadcast and used to further the reputation of the hard-tackling linebacker battling against odds.

He made national headlines this week after Deadspin determined the girlfriend never existed despite the many reports from Te'o, his family and his teammates, and fans now wonder if Te'o himself was the victim of the hoax or a perpetrator of it. In short, this story is far from over, and it should play out for at least another month or so.

Of course, since there's no girlfriend, there's no bobblehead -- the box will be empty.

"This will be the best kind of bobblehead a fan could get," Freedom General Manager Josh Anderson said.  "Because now fans can make the bobblehead out to be whatever they want it to be."

To add to the imaginary fun, Section 115 will be blocked and reserved only for fans to sit with their imaginary friends, girlfriends/boyfriends or spouses.  There will also be a pretend kiss cam, air-guitar contest and an imaginary food fight outside the Airheads Kids Zone.

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