How a Twitter Joke About a McFadden for Plaxico Trade Became a Rumor
The Oakland Raiders pulled off a stunner on Tuesday, trading a first and conditional second round draft pick to the Bengals for quarterback Carson Palmer. While the opinion of the trade has varied (see comments on our Facebook page and original post), most people acknowledge that the Raiders gave up a lot to get Palmer.
In light of the Palmer trade, SI.com writer Jimmy Traina joked on Twitter “BREAKING NFL NEWS: Raiders have called Jets; offered Darren McFadden for Plaxico Burress. May add draft picks to sweeten deal.”
It was an obvious joke for several reasons. One, if you follow Jimmy, you know he tweets more jokes than hard news. Two, as crazy as the Raiders front office has been, most people recognize that trading McFadden for Plaxico is a major stretch.
Well apparently somebody didn’t understand that Jimmy’s tweet was a joke.
The hosts on 710am radio in Seattle interviewed ESPN NFL reporter John Clayton and their first question was about the supposed trade.
“I can’t imagine this is a true story but maybe you can help clarify,” host Mike Salk told Clayton. “Jimmy Traina is tweeting ‘Breaking NFL News: Raiders have called Jets; offered Darren McFadden for Plaxico Burress.’
Clayton immediately recognized that this was a joke.
“What is this, April Fool’s Day? Plax was available and [Oakland] wasn’t interested. Come on,” Clayton said. “Somebody hacked the poor guy’s account.”
Salk then went all-in on the rumor, asking a follow-up question. “What if the Jets were offering draft picks to make the whole thing happen?”
I’m not sure why anyone would have taken Jimmy’s tweet literally. If you did, you clearly did not examine any context. But maybe it’s what John Clayton said: there are no jokes on Twitter. Actually, there are. They come from humorous people. Breaking NFL news comes from NFL reporters. The trick is knowing the difference between the two.