Sage advice from Mr. Manners

Mr. Manners has some go-to advice for Lance Armstrong and Manti T'eo. AP Photo/US Presswire

The sports world seems hopeless. Scandal follows scandal follows tarnished icon. There is only one man who can save it all and make sport civilized again.

It’s time for another edition of Mr. Manners.

Dear Mr. Manners:

I have been living a massive lie for nearly 20 years. I deceived countless people and was ruthless and vindictive to those who attempted to expose my deceit. I recently came clean about my past, but it seems everyone hates me. Is there anything I can do to make people like me again?

Lance A. (Austin)

Dear Lying and Unloved Lance:

Being universally loathed is tough. I’ve seen it happen in the manners game. A manners colleague of mine once made a typo and left out a “don’t” before “murder” in an advice column, and things went bad.

Really, the only way to change your plight is to do something incredibly selfless on a massive scale. Something like ... and I’m just thinking out loud here ... I don’t know ... creating a huge, multimillion-dollar charity that helps the victims of a horrible, deadly disease. That would probably do it. But if that’s not enough to get people to like you, you’re probably stuck being hated forever. Good luck!

Mr. Manners

Dear Mr. Manners:

I made a comment about the contract of a player on another team and everyone got all upset. What’s the deal? Do people dislike me just because I’m a billionaire?

Mark C. (Dallas)

Dear Meddling Mark:

You’re a billionaire? Hmm. I’m just going to echo what I told the last guy. You should totally start a massive charity that helps the victims of a horrible, deadly disease. In fact, that’s going to be my go-to manners advice for everyone going forward.

“Dear Mr. Manners: I have a fancy dinner party I have to attend for work. Which one is the salad fork?”

“Well, first of all, you should start a huge charity to help disease victims. As for the salad fork ...”

Mr. Manners

Dear Mr. Manners:

Every baseball offseason now I get linked to performance-enhancing drugs. People seem to hate me now. What gives?

Ryan B. (Milwaukee)

Dear (Allegedly) Roiding Ryan:

Your main mistake is playing baseball. People don’t care much if an athlete takes PEDs or is linked to PEDs as long as he doesn’t play baseball. They don’t like the stats on the back of baseball cards to be “tainted” ... even though no one collects baseball cards anymore. Whatever.

And now that I think about it, baseball and cycling are the only two sports people care about when it comes to steroids. If it’s something that is hard to watch two hours of without dozing off, people want it to be completely clean. It’s just the way it is.

So avoid PEDs/allegations or quit baseball and play another sport ... as long as it’s not cycling. Those are your options. All the best.

Mr. Manners

Dear Mr. Manners:

I recently brought in a highly rated class of recruits. This was a first for my school. Everyone here is really excited, but it seems that most people outside of this campus think we cheated. What can I do to convince people that my actions are on the up and up?

Hugh F. (Mississippi)

Dear Hu(gh)ge Doubt:

From your letter I assume you are employed in college athletics. If that is the case, I have very good news!

In most professions, it is indeed desirous to be seen as ethical and well-mannered. However, if you are seen as ethical and well-mannered in college athletics, you are probably going to get fired.

Why? Because if you are good at your job and win games and get good recruits, everyone will assume that you are a cheating scoundrel, even if that isn’t true. That’s just how it works in your profession. So cheat, don’t cheat, it doesn’t matter.

As someone employed in the manners arts, I would, of course, suggest to NOT cheat. Just wanted to make that clear, what with my International Manners Professionals license up for renewal next month.

Mr. Manners

Dear Mr. Manners:

I was recently tricked into believing that I had a serious online girlfriend who subsequently got into a car crash, got cancer and died. It turns out my online correspondence was with a male acquaintance of mine and that the “girlfriend” never existed and, therefore, never died. How can I ever trust people again? And how can I prove to people I am not a rube who is easily duped?

Manti T. (South Bend, Ind.)

Dear Mislead in the Midwest:

You will need to be cautious of those around you for a time until you feel comfortable again. Also, when it comes to an online relationship, be sure to arrange a meeting before you publicly trust a person with love or advice. For example, you fell in love with a fake person online. If you’re not careful, next you’ll find yourself asking someone with an absurd, made up name, wearing obviously Photoshopped glasses and a bowtie for advice in a silly online sports column. Don’t be that stupid.

Mr. Manners