On April 1, 2014, CornNation broke the "story" that Creighton University was starting a football program and joining the Big XII Conference. Note the publication date: April Fools Day. If the date wasn't enough of a tip that the story was a joke, certainly some of the over-the-top elements should have: 'Lil Blue, the new Oklahoma-Creighton rivalry on the Friday after Thanksgiving and the new name for the site: Dougie Nation.
We thought it was kind of funny, but it's amazing how many people fell for this story. At the 2014 spring game, I heard fans behind me talking about Creighton's new football program, and about lost it.
Somebody behind me asked their friend if it was true that Creighton was starting a football program. The @CornNation April Fools joke FTW.— Husker Mike (@Husker_Mike) April 12, 2014
To this day, this story continues to be one of the site's most viewed stories each day. No matter what else is happening around Nebraska athletics, somebody is always reading about Creighton football. (For some reason, Iowa State fans have been particularly interested in this story.) On Wednesday, the spoof was published by the Chicago Sun-Times in a story about Doug McDermott of the Chicago Bulls getting a hat from Jay Harbaugh, an assistant football coach with Michigan.
When Bulls forward Doug McDermott went to Creighton University, the Blue Jays didn't have a football team. This season, the Nebraska school is establishing a football team, but McDermott won't be following the team.
McDermott posted a photo of an University of Michigan hat that was sent by Jay Harbaugh, the son of Jim Harbaugh. Jay is now special teams coach of the Wolverines.
Whoops! Well, the Harbaugh hat part of the story is very much real.
Huge thanks to @JayHarbaugh for hat. Look forward to following the wolverines! pic.twitter.com/NLQ5s2NvvB— Doug McDermott (@dougmcd3) August 18, 2015
The rest...not so much. It forced Rob Anderson, Creighton's Sports Information Director, to disavow the report.
Contrary to reports in Chicago's @SunTimes (http://t.co/O4YMEeYmu5), I can confirm that Creighton is NOT starting up football this fall.— Rob Anderson (@_robanderson) August 19, 2015
The Sun-Times subsequently revised the story to remove the reference to our April Fools Day gag, but not before the original version was captured for posterity.
Assume Sun-Times will eventually correct story, so here's a screen grab & link to its source http://t.co/PjIyYiV50S pic.twitter.com/bFks8wldGk— Rob Simms (@IamRobSimms) August 19, 2015
Even the most die-hard Creighton fans had to tip their hat for this one...
Game gotta respect Game and @CornNation fooling the Sun Times on a 2 year old joke http://t.co/adBeYdDZQU Don't like them but respect hustle— FakeBlueCrew (@FakeBlueCrew) August 19, 2015
How many more reporters will fall for this story? (Somewhere in Lincoln, KOZN radio host John Bishop is relieved that he's no longer the only media member who's fallen for a CornNation satirical piece.)