Did MMA April Fools go too far in 2013?

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

In the past the UG Blog habitually ran an April Fool’s piece. Last year for example the UFC did not sign Fedor. This year we had hoped to post that Bleacher Report bought the UG Blog, with a quote about integrity and accuracy. However, the better minds at MMAFighting (Luke Thomas) decided to forgo April Fools jokes, and so we didn’t.

When Wanderlei Silva convinced the fans, MMA Weekly, Tatame, and his purported opponent Gegard Mousasi that he was on his way to Sweden to fight, many were not amused, including Mousasi.

“IDIOOT OF THE YEAR 2013!!” tweeted Mousasi, who added “Good job JACKASS!!”

Ariel Helwani, too, was not amused.

@wandfc
UFC news my guys fight Saturday agains Musasi!!! What you think? UFC just contact me about Saturday

@arielhelwani
April Fools’?” Trying find out … That would be so, so weak.

@arielhelwani
Ijust asked DW about Wand vs. Mousasi. His response: “Gus is still fighting! It’s April fools. Stay of twitter and the net today!” :/

@arielhelwani 1h
As I said on the show today, if you’re in the public eye, stop with the April Fool’s nonsense. It’s not 1985. Such BS.

B/R’s Jeremy Botter argues that this year things went too far; the sentiment may find some general support.

Next year, when April Fool’s Day rolls around, would you please avoid the requisite “Hey guys, I’m fighting (fill in the blank) at (fill in the blank)” tweets and Facebook posts? Because they aren’t funny. I know you think they’re cute and clever, and perhaps they would be if, you know, every single other fighter on the UFC’s roster didn’t use the same April Fool’s “joke.”

Wanderlei Silva tweeted his “news,” and he probably found it pretty hilarious. Good for him. But then he took it one step further and began privately telling journalists—some of whom have known “The Axe Murderer” for years—that yes, it was true, and that he would be fighting Mousasi.

He was asked directly if his tweet was an April Fool’s joke. No, he said. It was real. So these journalists ran with the story, as they are supposed to do. 

Here’s the thing, and I want everyone to listen to me: April Fool’s can be fun. It can be creative and inspiring and interesting. But there’s a difference between an April Fool’s joke and an outright lie.

April Fool’s doesn’t give you the license to outright lie to your fans or to anyone else, for that matter. Saying that you’re taking a fight against Gegard Mousasi on Saturday night, and getting your fans all worked up in the process, isn’t a joke. It’s a lie.

Read entire article…

What do you think UG? Did The Axe Murderer go too far? Did the reporters go too far? Should MMA news sites stop doing April Fools pieces? What figures or site, if any, got it right?

And did you play any good April Fools pranks?