LOGAN— As most of you are probably aware of by now, Monday was the first day of April – commonly known as April Fool’s Day. If that’s just dawning on you now, you may want to question some of the head scratching things you read/heard Monday.
In the true spirit of the day, the Cache Valley Media Group participated in the jesting by perpetuating a story that claimed Utah State University had been purchased by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and would become BYU-Logan. The story first appeared in the Cache Valley Insider, an email blast of some of the top stories of the week sent to approximately 20,000 subscribers. The story was then published a few hours later on CacheValleyDaily.com where it truly went viral.
Now obviously this story was FAKE, and those who made it to the end of the six short paragraphs were rewarded with that knowledge. However, in this day and age of social media, oftentimes the headline is the only thing that gets viewed. The article spread like wildfire, setting new CacheValleyDaily.com records for Facebook shares (more than 6,500 as of Monday night at Midnight) and single-story page views with 115,285. The April Fool's prank led to a nearly 6000% increase in overall visitors for a single day.
Here are some of the responses to the "announcement," with some proving there is no love lost between the two schools.
DJ Eckman (@DJEckman_787) tweeted: “better believe I would be tradin it in for that U of U. WILL NOT go to no BYU school”
Drew Stevens (@kurtstev) tweeted: “I know what day it is but i still threw up in my mouth a little. Not funny.”
TK311 ( @OgdenAggie) tweeted: “Were this to actually take place I would be forced to become a Ute fan. I have no love for anything BYU. #GoAggies”
S Andrew Sproul (@usuaggie1990) tweeted: “Uh I'd transfer out if it wasn't a joke. No love for BYU in my blood.”
Others found more humor in their responses.
Tony Anderson (@TonyRAnderson) tweeted: “So THAT'S why BYU changed their colors to exactly replicate USU's. I just thought they had no originality.”
Jeremy Winn (@jwinnAggies) tweeted: “This would be a nightmare! Great idea for an April Fool's Day joke.”
JNix had this to say in the comments section for the article: “Can you imagine? No more "Red Bull" for the "Blue Bull!" ...The enrollment of the U of U would increase by about 20,000... Doing "The Scotsman" to the tune of "Book of Mormon Stories?"...Aggie Blue Mint to be renamed Aggie Blue Command-mint!”
While Uncle Rico added this little nugget to the comments section: “Stew could offer the prayer before each basketball game”
Even some Utah State University football players got caught up in the ruse, as they tweeted some funny responses to the news.
Senior corner Devonta Glover-Wright had this to say about the article on his Twitter account (@GloverWright): “I was HOT reading this” while junior wide receiver Alex Wheat Jr. (@KingWheatXIII) tweeted: “THIS GOT ME GOOD. 😓”
However, the best reaction may have belonged to a young boy named Colin – a video of his response to the news was posted by Nikki Redd Ekstrom on Facebook. The young man was obviously distraught by the news, like many Aggie fans who fell for the prank.
We thank you for your Aggie fandom Colin, and we thank the rest of you who enjoyed and even played along with our little joke. Did you or someone you know have a pretty strong reaction to the prank? Share the experience in our comments section.
Until next year, happy April Fool’s, and “Hail the Utah Aggies.”