It’s April, and there’s still time to be fooled.
This morning, NFL Twitter was hyperventilating about what they thought was the first draft trade of the week between the LA Chargers and New York Giants. The Chargers, who hold the 13th pick in this year’s draft, announced they were moving up to the 11th spot with a graphic via Twitter. Then, allegedly, they deleted the post.
Except the Chargers never tweeted it to begin with.
“It was a total fabrication,” said Josh Rupprecht, the team’s VP of communications, who noted at least one glaring flaw in the hoax — the appearance of a “Chargers” hashtag.
“We wouldn’t use a ‘Chargers’ hashtag when we tweet from that account,” Rupprecht told Deadspin. A search of the Chargers’ tweet history confirms that the verified account has not used the hashtag since 2019.
Indeed, the whole thing seemed off. For starters, if a ballclub was going to trade up from No. 13, why would they only move two spots? Is there really someone they think will be available at 11 but not 13? Maybe… but that’s a red flag. Still, it didn’t stop some sports media members from speculating.
Pro Football Focus took a screenshot of the “deleted” graphic… then wound up having to take a screenshot of their own deleted tweet.
Warren Sharp also commented on LA’s “announcement”:
“Somehow it was seen by people from bigger accounts, it caught up steam and somehow went viral,” Twitter user @mertenmaxx, who took credit for the fake, told Deadspin.
“Why did I do it? Well, I actually created the picture for a mockdraft of mine, where I used it to make it look more realistic,” he said. “Sent it to some of my friends and wanted to see their reaction to make sure it looks realistic and this way it was seen by enough people to go viral.
“All in all, I didn’t expect this to go viral at all and I just hope I hurt nobody with this. :)”
Over the years, these fake sports tweets have caught us all off guard. There are folks on the internet who get a laugh out of fooling us all, and I don’t blame ‘em. I mean, it’s kinda funny. No matter how many fake sports tweets get released to the public, the reactions are always priceless.
And if you didn’t bite on his “scoop” you’re bound to get duped at some point. Especially now that we have fake graphics that look super real. The game has changed, folks.