The genius of invention: The hoax that will go down in Rose Bowl history

The 1961 Rose Bowl on January 2nd was between the Washington Huskies and the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Over 100,000 fans were in attendance and, with the live television coverage from NBC, millions were glued to their sets for this momentous game. Sports bars and restaurants were filled to the brim with spectators. This was before the era of electronic scoreboards, so a common way to cheer a team on was to arrange various specially seated people to hold up flip cards at specific times. What happened on this January not only went down in sports history but proved the ingenuity of a plan gone well.

In this game, the marching band from the Washington team was involved with a coordinated effort along with students that were seated in the flip card seats. Once they heard a signal, they were to hold up their cards. Each student had an instruction sheet to indicate which card and which side should be displayed. When all of the cards were seen together, they would convey a message. This was quite an elaborate plan, as they coordinated fifteen different images to be flipped and displayed.

Be careful when you join the Angels team: you might get punked on the scoreboard

When Mike Trout joined the Angels baseball team as the youngest camp player that year, he didn’t expect to be welcomed with a prank. The Angels are known for their sense of humor and made sure that Mike didn’t forget the first time he walked onto the field to play.

At only nineteen years of age, Mike Trout should have expected something from the Angels team. As the youngest player and listed as number eighty five in the Baseball America ranking, Mike was simply ripe for a prank. It seems that one of the Angels team members arranged for Mike’s cell phone number to be posted on the electronic scoreboard during mid game. A message accompanied the number encouraging fans to call and ask Mike their personal baseball questions. Jim Duquette, MLB radio network host was quick to ‘tweet’ the prank and the message was soon escalated to ‘viral’ status.