With the recent revelation that all-universe Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o's dead Internet/Californian girlfriend never actually existed, we thought we'd take a minute to unveil five other sports figures who are in fact imaginary.
#1 Bill Belichick's fashion consultant. Enough said.
#2 Jon Heyman's fact checker. Jon Heyman's story pushing Jack Morris for the Hall of Fame had some factual discrepancies. To say the least. A non-imaginary fact-checker wouldn't have let this stuff get past him.
#3 Brock Osweiler. This phantom is listed on the Denver Broncos' roster as the backup to quarterback Peyton Manning. I see no reason to believe that he exists. They could have photoshopped an image together of him for the media guide. He has essentially no stats: 2-4 for 12 yards in a Week 4 blowout against Oakland? Did that game even actually happen? Of course, that's three years of productivity for Tim Tebow, who is decidedly, disappointingly non-imaginary.
#4 The research and, y'know, REPORTING departments of NBC, ESPN, CBS, SI, and Fox Sports, all of whom let a freakin' Nick Denton website do the actual research that led to the revelation that Te'o's imaginary dead girlfriend had never existed. Come on, guys. I realize that you have very little incentive to discover actual facts, but please, do better.
Honorable mention: The one imaginary person who was surprised by the revelation that Lance Armstrong had doped; the person in charge of good taste at the NRA; the person willing to say 'no' to George Lucas.