Eight sports stories you wouldn't have believed...had they happened today
As you will know, today is April Fool's Day, and websites and news agencies the world over will be coming up with outrageous stories to trap the more "trusting" readers into panic, outrage or chaos. In 1976, for example, a Radio 2 DJ told listeners that at precisely 9.47am, unusual alignments of the planets would lessen the earth's gravitational pull, so anyone who jumped at that time would feel a floating sensation. Turns out hundreds of people phoned in to confirm that they had experienced it! On a sporting note, last year the Sunday Telegraph ran a story that cash-strapped London had asked Paris to share the Olympics.
People are becoming more and more cynical, so April Fools rarely work as intended. The secret is to create as realistic a scenario as possible. I had considered an April Fool post on Caster Semenya today, but I decided that either I'd have to make it ridiculous to make it obvious that it was a joke (which would probably come across as corny), or people here in SA and some readers would probably take it too seriously if I made it too realistic, and I'd spend the rest of the day explaining that it was just a joke. So I decided against it!
Then I discovered an interesting link on LetsRun.com, where they've pulled out some stories from the last 12 months that would, on this day, probably be dismissed as April Fools. Of course, they're entirely true, every one happened, and I've added a few others. So here are some stories you wouldn't believe, if they happened today:
- Man runs 200m in 19.19 seconds
- Marion Jones signs a contract with a women's professional basketball team in the WNBA
- American Man wins the New York City Marathon
- Tour de France passes with only a handful of positive doping tests
- Part of Oscar Pistorius' own science "defence team" publishes a paper showing a 10-second performance advantage in a 400m race
- Leonard Chuene refuses to resign as President of ASA despite lies, cover-ups, mismanagement and massive financial irregularities. Now that I'm thinking about it, ASA in general fits the April Fool criteria
- Tiger Woods (enough said)
- Science of Sport website receives $10 million donation, Ross and Jonathan resign and go on a world tour to cover sports events and talk about the science of sport (OK, so I made that one up, but I'm entitled to day-dream)
Enjoy the day - be on your guard!