I've been doing a ton of work today (someone has to pay the bills for the Short Fuse private jet, after all) so I hadn't paid a lot of attention to Twitter after the Cesc-splosion this morning. But when I went through the blog account's replies, I found an intrepid individual with an interesting question.
@TheShortFuse what do you guys know about the rumored Hulk bid that was allegedly accepted?— Nabae Asfar (@houndsoccer) June 5, 2014
I hadn't heard anything about any such thing, so I started digging. After about 90 seconds of research, I found that certain parts of the Internet had been abuzz with the rumor after an NBC Sports journalist called Michael Stafford had tweeted about it.
BIG NEWS FOR ARSENAL! A Certain club has accepted a deal! Just verifying my source and will get back to you. #AFC.— Michael Stafford (@SportStafford) June 4, 2014
Zenit rejected the first Offer, but Arsenal upgraded it to £26.5m, As soon Medical is done he will Travel after the world cup to #AFC.— Michael Stafford (@SportStafford) June 4, 2014
Big news, right? A few blogs went with it, including (at one point) 101 Great Goals, who were evidently taking a break from tweeting "GOLAZO" and posting WAG galleries. There's a problem with our new favorite NBC reporter, though.
@102greatgoals Hey guys, that Michael Stafford is a fraud. He doesn’t work for NBC or write for their soccer coverage.— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) June 5, 2014
Tannenwald (who, for the record, is generally a pretty reliable source on stuff himself, at least here in the States) went on to share a blog post written by someone who'd done the background work to dig up who the hell this Michael Stafford guy was, which you can read here. All of which just goes to show, you shouldn't take Twitter rumors on blind faith unless you know and trust the source. And even then, sometimes you shouldn't.
And in case you were worried I was taking this seriously, here was Ted's reaction when I messaged him about it.
"Did we buy The Hulk? No, but we feel that Dr. Banner may have super quality"
So now we know who's running @WengerKnowsBest, at least.