April Fools' Day: Counting Down the Best Sports Pranks of All Time

Ed NoveloCorrespondent IIIApril 1, 2011

April Fools' Day: Counting Down the Best Sports Pranks of All Time

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    Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

    Ah, April Fools day.

    It's a day that meant a lot more when you were a kid and could actually get away with strapping an M-80 to your friends mailbox.

    At 25-years-old, that sort of thing is frowned upon, and kind of illegal.

    I'm writing this from my jail cell.

    We've compiled 10 April Fool's moments in sports that left some people laughing, and others crying for their mamas. 

    P.S. I assume the man above has just been pranked.

10. LenDale White Gets Tossed off a Roof

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    April Fool's pranks are supposed to be clever and harmless. This one, if even for a second, probably left the Trojans players ready to pass out. 

    It was just another Trojans practice. Then, LenDale White stormed off the practice field after getting into a fight with a coach. Like I said, just another Trojans practice; nothing to be concerned about.

    However, that's when things got real.

    White had made his way to the roof of a nearby building and yelled, "Forget football" which was a relief, because they were sick of him anyway. 

    Equipment coordinator Tino Dominguez went up to calm him down, but instead—he threw him off the roof.

    They do things differently in Los Angeles.

    Don't worry, it was just a dummy, as was apparent when its head collided with a building on the way down and nothing but cotton came out.

    Luckily, the team keeps a therapist on staff at all times, or at least I hope. 

    By the way, it's the first prank featured in the above video.

9. Ken Griffey Jr. Has a Cow

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Ken Griffey Jr. likes to go the extra mile. 

    Manager Lou Piniella bet Griffey a steak that he couldn't hit a home run to left, center and right field on just three swings. Well, he couldn't and had to pay up.

    So the only logical thing left to do was put a live cow in Piniella's office.

    What a guy.

    It takes a real friend to do one better, and Griffey is such a person. What Lou should have done is ask for new tires for his car, and Griffey would have bought him a Lexus. Or maybe for Griffey to stay healthy for the entire season.

    Griffey never left his room ever again.

    Again, I couldn't find a video of the incident, but pictured above is a cow...kind of. It probably wasn't the one in Lou's office, but you get the idea.

8. Mark Cuban Fights a Referee

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    Mark Cuban and referees don't get along. That's why it was no surprise when Cuban decided it was time to violently attack one.

    At first, what appeared to be a very awkward shoving match between Cuban and a referee turned out be an April Fools prank, much to the surprise of assistant coach Del Harris, who thought the Mavs owner had finally lost his mind. 

    This was actually one of the better pranks I've seen, as it incorporated my taste for violence and my distaste for referees. If only they were using light sabers, or even spray-painted sausages, this would have been one for the ages.

    Though the video above has Cuban's fight in it, you could also see a couple other pranks featured in this slideshow.

7. Woman Says No to Marriage Proposal

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    Look, I'm just going to say this: Asking a woman to marry you in front of thousands of strangers is a terrible idea. Sure, she might say yes, but there's a good chance it's only because she feels she has to.

    Then there's this woman, who says peer pressure be damned. 

    After "Honey, honey honey," got down on his knees and asked his girl to marry him, she ran off the court, probably terribly disappointed that she wasn't face-to-face with a pair of tickets to a future Wizards game as she was promised.

    Frankly, I'd be disappointed looking at either.

    Again, don't worry, it was all staged. At least that's what I'd be telling all my friends if I were him.

6. Terrell Owens Gets Punked on Punk'd

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    Nothing says funny like pretending a poor old man was injured in a horrific car crash. And who better to save him than Terrell Owens.

    Get your popcorn ready.

    Owens and friends pulled up to what appeared to be an injured elderly man whose car had overturned and was left on its side. It's okay though, because Owens helped the man into a wheel chair then stood with his arms crossed, probably wondering why nobody had praised him in five minutes.

    The best part? A cop who arrived and couldn't help but ask Owens for an autograph—only because Donovan McNabb wasn't around. After all, he is the guy "who catches the ball after Donovan throws it," as the officer says.

    The video of this is also in the ESPN countdown video, if you want to see it.

5. Kyle Kendrick Gets Traded to Japan

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    Trades can be cruel. Often they're unexpected, and they force the player to just up and move their entire family to another city without notice. But at least you stay in the country.

    Not Kyle Kendrick.

    Teammate Brett Myers thought it'd be funny to pretend-trade Kyle to a team in Japan, much to Kyle's chagrin. It's funny looking at his face as he's being told the news; I'm guessing he's not thinking about puppies and rainbows. 

    He looks like he wants to destroy everyone and everything in the locker room, but manages to keep himself together just before Brett Myers tells him, "You just got punked!"

    To which I'd respond: "You just got punched!"

    I would be traded to Japan minutes later.

4. Billy Donovan Drops Championship Trophy

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    After winning their first ever National Championship, Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan had a severe case of the butterfingers and dropped the trophy, smashing it into hundreds of pieces at a rally. 

    Unaware that the trophy was just a replica, Al Horford was the most shocked of all, holding back his teammates as he stared at what was seconds before a symbol of their success that season.

    And just in case you were wondering, Joakim Noah was still really ugly back then.

3. Keith Primeau Pranked on Jamie Kennedy Experiment

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    Flyers captain Keith Primeau thought he was doing something good by practicing with "Bobby" and his father, after they won a day to practice with their favorite Flyer.

    And it probably would have been fun, if the father wasn't actually Jamie Kennedy, who had no intention of sharing the days enjoyment with his "son."

    You know things aren't going well when Primeau says of Kennedy: "Where's this guys AA meeting at?" He would later check Kennedy, sending his obnoxious ass to the ice. 

    I'm not typically a fan of Kennedy, especially after he came out with Malibu's Most Wanted, which is, in my opinion, one of the worst movies ever. But, this actually pretty funny.

2. Fan Halfcourt Shot

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    You know those halftime shows where a person gets a chance at winning a lot money for hitting a shot from halfcourt, and you're really happy and excited when they hit it but, then realize you're not getting any of that money so you don't care and your friends call you bitter?

    Well, the Orlando Magic did one of those, except with a twist. 

    Dan was given a chance to make $100,000 if he could hit a shot blindfolded from halfcourt. And he did, or so he thought. You would too if you heard the crowd erupt like it did. 

    Unfortunately, it was all a prank as Dan missed, both the basket and his shot to win $100,000. Surprisingly, he took it all in stride, even as that thing they call Stuff the Magic Dragon raised a huge sign in his face that said, "April Fools!"

    If it were me, I'd be swingin'.

    Don't worry, the man was reportedly a hired actor, which is good because it would be cruel to do that to someone given our current economic situation. Or any other time, really.

1. Yale Thinks They're Better Than Harvard

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    Photo from Yale Daily News

    I really don't know why I find this one so funny, but I do. There's just something about the level of organization this would take to pull off.

    Who knows, maybe it's not that hard, and I'm definitely easily impressed. Not to mention, it's Yale; wouldn't you expect something better than, "We Suck"?

    Nevertheless, it was brilliant.

    For starters, they had to pose as the "Harvard Pep Squad," which doesn't actually exist, and they had to dress the part. Then, they handed placards to Harvard students, telling them it would spell out, "Go Harvard." 


    Unfortunately, Harvard didn't even notice. A prank is only good if the person being pranked knows they're being pranked when all is said and done. It's like cussing someone out in Spanish or Japanese, but the other person doesn't know what you're saying, so it doesn't hurt. 

    I guess Yale is smarter than Harvard.

Honorable Mention: Reggie Bush Gets Inducted into the Hall of Fame

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    Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

    As I'm sure you could tell immediately by the slide name, this one is definitely a prank—by me. 

    After scoring one of the few touchdowns he'll make all year, Reggie Bush will be told that Hall of Fame voters have made an exception for him and have voted him directly into the coveted building in Canton, Ohio.

    They'll set up a press conference, but he will, unfortunately, be unable to find his way to the podium, as that would require him to run in a straight line.

    A Kim Kardashian look-alike will be in attendance and ask for him back. He'll decline, stating that she's overrated, which is funny considering that he is too.

    Some would call that ironic, though it is not.

    I'll then appear and tell him, "Sike!" To which I assume he'll respond, "You cut me deep just now, Shrek, you cut me deep."

    Whatever that means.