A prankster was able to fool a Boston Herald sports columnist into believing a fake news story about Tom Brady’s contract. The prank was so believable to the writer that the fake news report was the top story in the Boston Herald’s sports section. Possibly the worst part is that the prankster said the hoax was easy to pull off.
On Thursday night, Boston Herald sports columnist Ron Borges received a text message from a person claiming to be Don Yee, the agent for both Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo. The text provided some juicy gossip that Brady was “prepared to sit out all offseason team activity unless he gets a new deal with up-front money similar to what Jimmy got.” This came as a response to former New England Patriots backup quarterback Garoppolo landing a five-year contract extension from the San Francisco 49ers, the team Jimmy was traded to midway through last season. Garoppolo’s new deal is worth $137.5 million or $27.5 per year, which is the largest in NFL history on an average-per-year basis. Meanwhile, Brady currently has two years and $44 million remaining on his contract.
Borges was so excited by the scoop that he quickly wrote up an article based on the text message exchange because he was afraid ESPN reporter Adam Schefter would write the article “by next week.” A screenshot of the exchange between the alleged NFL agent and Borges was posted on Twitter by Boston sports radio show “Kirk & Callahan.” However, all was not as it seems. “Don Yee” was actually a prankster known on the sports radio talk show as “Nick in Boston.”
Nick in Boston easily duped Borges into writing an entire article on the joke text message exchange. Borges cited unnamed “sources close to Brady” in his Boston Herald article. “Somebody tweeted Ron Borges’ phone number and I just picked it up and for some reason I just thought, ‘Hey, I’ll text him and say I’m Don Yee.’ And he just went with it for some reason,” explained Nick in Boston. “Here’s the funny part. Well, it’s all funny but here’s the funnier part: He tried to call me three times and I just didn’t answer. But then I was just like, whatever, screw it, I’ll just call him and he’s gonna know it’s not Don Yee. But I called him and I was just like, ‘Hey, Ronnie, it’s Don.’” The article has since been removed from the Herald’s website. Be careful out there, fake news is everywhere, even in sports.