Deadline day excitement outside Chelsea ground turns out to be a hoax – are we mad? Of course not

Deadline day. It’s always hyped, and rarely does it live up to the hype. The best I can think of was that day in August 2008 when Manchester City signed a fairly confused Robinho and Manchester United had to hide Dimitar Berbatov under a blanket in order to stop the press seeing him heading to Manchester to sign for the Red Devils – as opposed to their cross-town ‘noisy neighbours’ who were, apparently, also interested.

This time, there was no such Manchester animosity, no crazy deals and no real interest in deadline day this time around. Jim White put on his yellow tie, rumours were started and media outlets geared up for the long haul, reporting until the window slammed shut ™ and even for an hour or so afterwards, up until midnight. Or until a good three or four hours after they could be bothered to keep going, really. It was a damp squib.

In fact, in typical deadline day fashion, the best moment of the day was, itself, a fabrication.

Remember this video?

It was a huge viral, it went everywhere and everyone jumped on it. It was exactly what we were praying for: a reported molested on-air by a man wielding a banana, a god-send on a slow news day. It brought back some of the magic of deadline day, the traditional day of craziness, despair and of joy. Italian TV reporting live from outside Stamford Bridge on deadline day brought everyone a few minutes of joy.

But wait. What’s this? It turns out that this was an elaborate hoax, designed to fool everyone by YouTube fan channel The Football Republic.

Mission accomplished.

But are we mad? No, of course we’re not. For a few minutes there, deadline day wasn’t a bust, we were all treated to a dose of the magic that left us years ago. We all discovered the magic of deadline day.