Greatest Mistaken April Fool's Jokes in Sports History

JoeSportsFanSenior Analyst IApril 1, 2010


On April 1, 1985, Sports Illustrated published a story by George Plimpton called “The Curious Case of Sidd Finch ” which introduced the world to an eccentric and reclusive rookie in the New York Mets organization whose fastball was clocked at a shocking 168 mph.

The story featured quotes from players and coaches who had apparently witnessed the secret workout that took place in a secluded corner of the Mets spring training facilities, included bizarre background info about Finch, and was subsequently eaten up by baseball fans across the nation who were eager to witness this freak firsthand. 

It wasn’t until weeks later that the story was revealed as an expertly crafted April Fool's joke by Plimpton and Sports Illustrated.  Two years later, Plimpton expanded the story into a novel.

Since that time, people in the sports world are cautious on April 1 to make sure that they aren’t sucked in by the next Sidd Finch tale.  No one wants to be the person who believes a story that should have been front page on The Onion. 

But that innate skepticism can also be a double-edged sword.  Many actual truths have been disregarded as ridiculous attempts at April Fools jokes, regardless of whether they actually took place on April 1. 

Our staff looked deep into recent history to find a handful of news items that were first viewed as the equivalent of a cheap April Fools Jokes, only to later be determined that they were actually true…###MORE###

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Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis calls a team executive meeting to announce that he is going to take JaMarcus Russell with the top pick in the 2007 NFL draft.

Ron Artest tells teammates he is starting a rap label named and it’s going to be called “Tru Warier.”  Then he spelled it Tru Warier. 

The Chicago White Sox arrived at the stadium and saw these uniforms hanging from their lockers…


Mike Piazza tells the Mets front office that he actually wants to hold a press conference to announce that he’s not gay.

One random April 1, Milton Bradley announced to reporters before a spring training game that he was in a “good mood.”

Scott Pollard walked out of the tunnel for warmups looking like this…



Mike Rotunda enters Vince McMahon’s office at WWF headquarters and lays out a detailed plan to create a character named Irwin R. Schyster who will go by the acronym IRS and frighten opponents by threatening them with a tax audit .

The Washington Bullets hold a press conference announcing that they had signed a contract for 7 years and $105 million…with Juwan Howard.

Former NFLer Bob Golic tells his younger brother Mike Golic that he has accepted a role playing the meatheaded hall monitor in Saved by the Bell: The College Years.

David Stern issues a press release that he’s starting a Women’s basketball league called the “WNBA.”

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