issued an incredibly
this afternoon on a story that appeared on the front page of their sports section earlier this week. The brief, ambiguous note seems to be an admission that one of the paper's most celebrated sports reporters was completely and utterly duped, Borat-style, by an FAU student and his buddy.
Bradley Springer, a freshman at FAU, and Jonathan Taylor dressed up like Russian basketball fans -- replete with face paint and fake accents -- and attended the Heat's scrimmage against CSKA Moscow. When Herald reporter Linda Robertson interviewed them for more than 15 minutes, they shared tales of fake Russian rappers who love "LeeBron" and talked about how much Russians love basketball.
"The NBA is the new vodka in Russia,'' one of them told Roberts.
The fake Russians, Pavel and Yuri Kopeche, made the lede in Roberts' story the next day.
Soon the sports blogDeadspin
got wind of the prank, andMiami New Times writer Tim Elfrink got in touch with Springer
"Still, the would-be Pavel says he wasn't trying to destroy Robertson's reputation. 'If she gets in trouble, that wasn't our intention at all,' he says. 'I would feel bad about that.'"This may not be the end of the embarrassment for the Herald, though: Springer's friend filmed the whole interview from the stands. 'We're working on putting a video together now to post,' he says."
"A column that ran on page 1D of Wednesday's sports section might have included incorrect information from two men claiming to be Russian. There's just no sure way of knowing."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
That's right. It "might have included incorrect information." And really, "there's just no sure way of knowing."
No sure way of knowing that the two kids from Palm Beach are not Russians who think the NBA is bigger than vodka? No sure way of knowing that the Russian rapper "Don Zagru" not only doesn't like wearing LeBron jerseys but that he doesn't exist at all?
By that logic, there is also no way of knowing that Pavel and Yuri aren't related to this guy: