In sports, everyone is a winner—some people just win better than others. Like Utah Flash owner Brandt Andersen, who successfully duped 7,500 suckers into buying tickets to his arena by lying about Michael Jordan. It's a living.
Anderson, you may recall, was the NBA D-League owner who offered $100,000 to Jordan and Bryon Russell if they would agree to play one-on-one at halftime of a Flash game. Naturally, the $100,000 was a bit of a lark, because the money was for charity, it would only go to the winner, and everyone knew there was no way in the hell Jordan would ever accept. But since he never technically said "no," Anderson figured he's just pretend that Jordan was coming anyway, because what difference would make as long as fans bought the tickets?
So the Flash hired a Jordan look-alike to walk around Provo yesterday—and even uploaded a YouTube video of him eating at a local restaurant—to generate fake Jordan sightings and build some buzz in the community. And Russell even went along with it, because what else does he have going on in his life? Halftime came, the hoax was revealed and the previously gullible crowd was not amused.
Anderson later apologized, by saying "Sorry ... no refunds!"
"We wanted to test the strength and effectiveness of viral media by putting him out in Provo with bodyguards, and some hype," [Anderson] said. "I always assumed it would be uncovered very quickly that it was a hoax."
What he tested was the strength and effectiveness of P.T. Barnum's old adage, and it passed with flying colors. There's a shameless liar born every minute.
Honorable Mention: Philadelphia. It's 2000 all over again! (Without the winning.)