Real ESPN Columnist Believes Fake Story About Real Big Ben Being In Fake Accident

  • Dylan Murphy

Ben Roethlisberger had a rather unspectacular day today. Wake up, football practice, go home. Yet somehow the internet lit on fire for an hour earlier in the day because it was reported that Big Ben had broken not one, but BOTH his legs in a car accident. Nevermind that he was at football practice, and thus nowhere near a car.

The fake story originated from Global Associated News, a noted media hoax website, and has duped people in the past, including this report that Tiger Woods died.

This didn’t stop all of Twitter from running with the story and incessantly tweeting at Adam Schefter for verification. (Because, seriously, who else are you going to go to for NFL news? Chris Mortensen? GAAAAHHH.) ESPN columnist Johnette Howard was one of those people to run with the story:

Howard soon realized her error in trying to be the first with a story that was clearly false:

Nevermind that you can’t actually click any of the supposed “tabs” at the top of the page. SEEMS LEGIT.

And, as Deadspin’s Dom Cosentino points out, you can just change the url and add your own name and a location of choice to change the story. I did here. (Note: both my legs are currently working, though atrophied from sitting at my desk all day. FOGARTY NEVER GIVES US BREAKS.)

And one more thing: it says all this ON THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE. Granted it’s small print, but still:

“about this web site. FAKE… THIS STORY IS 100% FAKE! this is an entertainment website, and this is a totally fake article based on zero truth and is a complete work of fiction for entertainment purposes! this story was dynamically generated using a generic ‘template’ and is not factual. Any reference to specific individuals has been 100% fabricated by web site visitors who have created fake stories by entering a name into a blank ‘non-specific’ template for the purpose of entertainment.”

h/t Deadspin