This Paul Rudd-looking SOB is the real deal. We think. Credit: Getty Images
Most anyone under the age of 30, or anyone who is required to tweet for a living, at some point falls in love with Twitter. I mean, where else can you instantly interact with "True Detective" fans to instantly discuss Errol’s sister and her request to “make flowers,” only to be sidetracked momentarily by the Iron Sheik insisting that Hulk Hogan has “raisin balls”? Only on Twitter. Nowhere else.
But, like everything else, Twitter has its downside. At the top of the Twitter Ain’t All That list is, without question, fake Adam Schefter accounts.
Schefter, for the uniformed, is the current be-all and end-all when it comes to breaking and confirming NFL news and rumor. In other words, he’s the Adrian Wojnarowski of football.
Schefter’s Twitter account, as of Tuesday, had 2.77 MILLION followers. For reference, NBC News’ Twitter account only has 1.37 million followers. Yes, that’s scary, in that this country does indeed care more about football rumors than it does about real news and real life. But, hey ... whatever.
The point is that Schefter is hugely popular, and this week in particular one could easily make the case that he’s the most popular man in these United States, with NFL free agency rumors running wild and fans needing minute-by-minute updates as to Wesley Woodyard's whereabouts.
With every popular man, however, comes imitation. And no one is a victim of Twitter fraud-ery more than Schefter.
This past Sunday night, in the aftermath of the aforementioned "True Detective" finale and Sheiky baby’s minor outburst, I read the following retweet from what appeared to be the Twitter account of Adam Schefter:
“Patriots to re-sign Aqib Talib and trade for Darrelle Revis.”
That would be huge NFL news, in that the Patriots would have cornered the market on corners. Gladly, my instincts told me to double-check on this blockbuster news. I soon realized that the tweet was made by one of the dozens of fake Adam Schefter Twitter accounts that exist, and saved my own ass from what would have been an embarrassing retweet. (The real deal is @AdamSchefter, by the way.)
Football writer Peter King — the 1990s and early 2000s version of Schefter — was even duped by a fake Schefter this week. King thought that the Falcons had traded for Revis, thanks to the handiwork of whoever runs the profile of @AdarnSchefter. King tweeted out after learning of the miscue: "My apologies. Fake Schefter. My bad."
Yup, fake Schefters are an epidemic, but King's slayer, in particular, has taken the lead.
@AdarnSchefter has blown the likes of @adamshefterESPN, @AdamSchefler, @ItsAdamSchefter, @UnAdamSchefter and @Fake_Schefter out of the water this week with maddening tweets like:
"Revis has been traded to the #Raiders for a 3rd round pick. Oakland will try to restructure a new contract to make Revis a Raider for life."
"The #Titans and #Colts are finishing a deal that would trade Chris Johnson for Trent Richardson."
Because of the obvious outrage on Twitter, there was a glimmer of hope Tuesday that @AdarnSchefter's account had been frozen — or better yet, wiped off the face of the Earth by the people at Twitter. But the demise of Adarn was greatly exaggerated, and he rose from Twitter hell late in the afternoon, right as the free agency period officially got underway, of course.
I'll give Adarn this: He has a sense of humor. A twisted one, but a sense of humor nonetheless. He tweeted this when it was being floated that he was dead:
"ain't no grave, can hold my body down. RT @WillBrinson Twitter has finally, mercifully killed off ADARN Schefter: pic.twitter.com/33p2h7TucO"
Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter@BurkeMetroBOS