On Sunday, ESPN aired a high school football game featuring College Athlete factor IMG Academy… and a fake high school? Bishop Sycamore, the team facing the dominant IMG team, is an online high school that from some reports, only exists to field a football team, one lead by a head coach accused of scamming other programs who has an active arrest warrant and is facing allegations of tricking athletes with the promise of being noticed by D1 schools. This team had even faced off in a game that Friday night, less than 48 hours before facing IMG Academy.
Bishop Sycamore lost the game 58-0, and the commentators were at times worried about the immense difference in talent and how that was a potential safety hazard for the players.
When this story broke, it became the talk of sports Twitter, with over 185k posts in around 48 hours, with that number quickly rising.
ESPN was the main topic of conversation as people made fun of the nation’s largest sports media outlet for being tricked in such a public manner. Don’t let the positive sentiment fool you, the Social Studio model has no idea how to handle this level of sarcasm and laughter at the expense of ESPN. These Tweets may be coded as positive, but I doubt ESPN is laughing right now.
The conversation is not all at ESPN’s expense, this has become cannon fodder for football memes, from jokes about the alleged made up roster:
ESPN: what D1 prospects do you have?
Bishop Sycamore: pic.twitter.com/sBdPukNUDL
— Charles J. Moore (@charles270) August 30, 2021
To jokes about NFL cut day and the over 18 members of the team:
BREAKING: Cam Newton agrees to a 2-year deal with Bishop Sycamore, per source pic.twitter.com/QZURopMtZj
— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) August 31, 2021
To posts about the imaginary players and staff on the roster
Bishop Sycamore starting linebacker pic.twitter.com/idZSLdDHk9
— Keith Jones (@tigerfball73) August 31, 2021
And we cannot forget poor Nebraska (where SMCC TA Alum Jason Stamm is now), who could not escape being the target of Bishop Sycamore memes
The two biggest stories in football this weekend, Bishop Sycamore and Nebraska, both involved teams pretending to play football.
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) August 31, 2021
The story has gotten even more insane as journalists have researched more into the school’s history, and with college football upon us, I bet we see the next great “imaginary X” meme format since Manti Te’o’s catfishing scandal.