While the rest of the Internet has gleefully yucked it up on the first of April with all sorts of satire and misdirects over the years, hard-working Bleacher Reporters have been strictly forbidden from taking part in such frivolous activities.
Via King Kaufman on the B/R blog last year:
Satire is forbidden at Bleacher Report, and we define satire as things that are not true presented as if they were true... We ban satire because search engines can't tell the difference between actual and satirical news stories, and neither can humans who only read a headline before sharing a story on social media... There's no good way for a non-satire site to label the occasional satire piece to keep searchers from being fooled into thinking the story's real. There's no better way to lose readers for good than to trick them into clicking on stories that are not what they appear to be.
Now, I am not quoting Kaufman as a means of slyly segueing into a denunciation of Bleacher Report's corporate policy. What kind of person would do that?
In fact, as a show of good faith, I would be remiss to not tell all of you that Finnochio et. al have been kind enough to let their writers be outside participants in April Fools' Day by allowing the production of countless slideshows and lists about April Fools' Day since the site's inception.
Having said that... According to a tip that I received over the weekend, which I am sixty percent certain is forty-three percent true, B/R has reneged on its traditional policy, allowing writers to "fool" the audience and each other as they see fit.
And upon closer examination, assuming the site's policy lift is indeed factual, it appears to have occurred at least one week ago.
In commencement of Bleacher Report's best policy change ever, here is a list of the different kinds of pranks that Bleacher Reporters appear to have played over the weekend.
— The Fake News On Google News Prank
"The two best things in life are watching sports and Throning out. It is known." - Dan Carson
If you follow Dan's writing or Dan's Twitter, you know Dan is a HUGE fan of GoT, which is basically kinda sorta like the best show ever.
On Friday, Dan published a slideshow titled "Recasting 'Game of Thrones' with Sports Figures," wisely pondering a question that we have all asked ourselves at one time or another... What would happen if Game of Thrones were recast with sports figures???
On its own, it's just another one of Bleacher Report's typically insightful slideshows. However, the clever Dan Carson and his editors decided to fool a few passersby, ensuring that the link made its way to Google News.
For many unsuspecting Googlers, the possibility of Nate Robinson replacing Peter Dinklage was, briefly, a scary reality...
That is, of course, until they clicked the link and were greeted by Dan's brilliantly constructed lede.
— The Satirical Article Prank
Abbey Chase, a student in Bleacher Report's Advanced Program in Sports Media, wrote a terrific piece of satire that tackled an issue currently plaguing sports journalism titled "My Hardest Assignment: Covering Sports I Don't Know Much About." Excerpt below on people who covered Olympic sports this year without actually knowing anything about them:
With so much information and analysis on the Internet, it's easy to get mired in an endless supply of expert commentary and sabermetric-style analysis, making it more difficult to produce unique content. So when it came to understanding the Olympics, I focused less on what everyone else was saying and turned on the TV... Even when watching an unfamiliar sport, the passionate sports fan (and cognizant sports writer) can pick up on what's important...
— The Dick Joke Prank
Tyson Langland had no idea what his article, "Why Being Short Doesn't Matter for Top Cornerback Prospects," was in for when he published it on Sunday. B/R's editorial staff, never ones to miss out on the chance to make a great dick joke, put this gem up on the front page of the site's NFL section.
Get got, Tyson Langland. Get got, CB prospects.
Have you spotted other B/R April Fools' pranks? More importantly, what did you think of my list? Was my title bland, or was it clickable? Sound off below.