I love the Internet. This is a story about that love.
Out of nowhere last Friday, Twitter prankster Crane Kicker tweeted former Eagles DE Hugh Douglas to ask him about a nickname from his playing days: “Turbo Bird”.
Here’s the thing, nobody had ever called Douglas Turbo Bird before. It was a complete and total fabrication. Craney totally pulled it out of thin air.
Douglas, having no idea what was about to happen to him, politely refuted the claim:
A simple answer to a simple question, right? But like any good urban legend, the tale of Turbo Bird spread like wildfire:
It was around this time where the gag jumped from Twitter out into other parts of the web. Someone made a very subtle addition to Douglas’ Wikipedia entry:
Twitter user Magowan fired up his copy of Photoshop and created this image which he claimed was a poster of the Turbo Bird he used to have in his bedroom:
By now, Big Hugh was starting to get tired of the joke. He started politely denying any claim to the name whenever people asked:
He then tried subtly dissing anybody who asked about it:
And then it happened.
Turbo Bird Douglas got pissed:
Hugh delivered an ultimatum to all 14,880 of his Twitter followers:
And that’s where we are now. Any mention of the name Turbo Bird to Douglas earns the user a ‘block’, meaning they can no longer follow the former NFL player and ESPN analyst nor can they even access his timeline.
Turbo Bird Hugh deleted any of his tweets and replies to anybody that mentioned the nickname. That’s a total shame because some of those replies were less-than even tempered.
Like sand through an hourglass…
So where did this whole thing come from? Just what was original prankster Cranekicker’s motivation? To find out, I put on my very best fedora, stuck my press credential in its band, and did myself some hardcore journalisting:
I’ve also reached out to Douglas, both through his agent and through Twitter, naturally. As of press time (or whatever the blog equivalent of that is) nobody has been in contact.
If I hear something more, you better believe you’ll hear about it.