An Internet report emerged Thursday morning declaring the unthinkable. According to the Detroit News Online report, the 49ers had hired Matt Millen, the architect of the winless 2008 Detroit Lions and consensus opinion biggest moron in modern-day pro football, as their new general manager. Previous GM Scot McCloughan had resigned March 17.
The compost quickly hit the fan on all the 49ers fan sites. "Please god let this not be true," plead Niners Nation. The official team Web site 49ers.com message board lit up with the rumor, as they did at AZCardinals.com. A lot of Cardinal fans fell for this one.
In other words, it was an April Fool's joke, cleverly foisted by the sports reporters at 49erswebzone.com, who have a history of pulling a prank every April 1.
Kids, pay attention. Because this is how you do a good Internet prank.
Go ahead and click on the link to their story. The site looks legit, and you can see the legitimate-sounding "detonline" text in the URL. But if you mouse over the links on the page, you'll see that none of them work.
And if you try to leave a comment, you can't. It looks like you can at first glance. And that's how you fool people.
Of course, that doesn't explain how Matt Millen fooled the Detroit Lions into keeping him on the job for eight years.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who likes to claim he is not old enough to remember when Matt Millen was a Raider or 49er.