An enterprising prankster is taking a victory lap after duping Lions fans on social media into believing a fake account he ran was a secret "burner" account belonging to former Detroit coach Matt Patricia.
Dylan Cardwell, a Los Angeles Rams fan living in Utah, revealed himself to be the voice behind the suspiciously pro-Patricia Twitter account that had drawn the scrutiny of football fans, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Cardwell appeared to show himself toggling back and forth to the bogus account, called "@EddyPLionsFan," from his usual account, which is a Rams-themed fan account.
Cardwell told the Free Press that he came up with the idea of creating the phony burner after falling for similar such hoaxes in the past, including one posing as former Texans head coach Bill O'Brien last summer.
The 20-year-old wanted to see if he could pull off a stunt of his own, and said he was surprised when it succeeded.
“I honestly was not expecting to do as much as it did,” Cardwell said. “Honestly, like I thought there would be something like mainly just within the Lions fan base, there would be a little bit of chatter. … It really got a lot bigger than I had anticipated. It went from, in just a little over a day, it went from one follower to now we’re at like 2,500, I think. So definitely unexpected.”
Cardwell said he learned a lot from the experience, and wouldn't rule out trying it again in the future.
“Who knows? Next year when there’s a whole new batch of head coaches on the hot seat, I might get a Round 2,” he said. “I did learn a few things. I definitely underestimated the investigative availability of people. I left too many bread crumbs that a lot of people doubted it right away.”
Patricia, 46, was dismissed last week along with GM Bob Quinn after three-plus seasons at the helm in Detroit. The former Patriots defensive coordinator's plans are unclear for now, with head coach Bill Belichick skirting the issue when asked this week about a potential Patricia reunion during his weekly appearance on WEEI.