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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Convincing the Other Team's Player That He Has an Online Girlfriend? Priceless!

The practice of pulling pranks on the other team's players, students, or school is a long and storied tradition. Since NCAA tourney time is here, we'll probably hear more of these types of stories. However, I tip my hat to the lads at UC-Berkeley. Pranks have become a tradition at their campus, and they're at it again:
On March 4, University of California Berkeley (Cal) played a basketball game against the University of Southern California (USC). With Cal in contention for the PAC-10 title and the NCAA tournament at stake, the game was a must-win.

Enter "Victoria."

Victoria was a hoax UCLA co-ed, created by Cal's Rally Committee. For the previous week, "she" had been chatting with Gabe Pruitt, USC's starting guard, over AOL Instant Messenger. It got serious. Pruitt and several of his teammates made plans to go to Westwood after the game so that they could party with Victoria and her friends.

On Saturday, at the game, when Pruitt was introduced in the starting lineup, the chants began: "Victoria, Victoria." One of the fans held up a sign with her phone number.

The look on Pruitt's face when he turned to the bench after the first Victoria chant was priceless. The expression was unlike anything ever seen in collegiate or pro sports. Never did a chant by the opposing crowd have such an impact on a visiting player
Click here for the whole thing.

It's not too surprising both that they tried it and that it was successful. After all, getting the opponent's goat is a long standing tradition for the fans of the home team (it's part of the "home team" advantage). And we're talking about a 20 year old guy here, and an athlete at that. So, there's probably a mismatch between testosterone and that little voice in the back of the head that says "Now wait a minute, Jack. This could be a hoax -- what do I really know about this person?".

Still, it is pretty funny. Someone should make a MasterCard commercial out of it.

HT: Newmark's Door.

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