by Glenn Dickey
Apr 05, 2007

I was fooled by an April Fool’s joke yesterday, writing about a proposed “trade” of Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson to the 49ers. I am particularly vulnerable to this type of hoax because I haven’t played a practical joke on anybody since grammar school, the proper level for this type of humor.

Not knowing it was a hoax, I did what I always do when I see something of interest on the Internet: I went to a primary source. Two sources in the 49ers office told me there was no validity to the story, but that Houston was shopping Johnson. I wrote that in the first two paragraphs of a 1300-word website column, making it clear that no trade was in the works.

Predictably, I heard from many readers who were aware of the joke. Most of the mail was good natured, but there was a nasty fringe who wondered if that’s how I got my news, off a website.

Well, no. As readers with even a cursory knowledge of my work know, I write primarily from what I hear personally from newsmakers and what I observe personally, from my background of 44 years of covering major league professional and collegiate events. Yesterday's column was an example: I had an extended interview with the 49ers new offensive coordinator Jim Hostler, comments on the Giants Opening Day, including a quote from Giants owner Peter Magowan, and an evaluation of the Big Game ticket policy at Stanford.

I believe the overwhelming majority of readers understands my approach and enjoys it. I get many, many thoughtful e-mails from readers, and I very much appreciate your support.

For those of you who apparently do not understand my approach, I give you permission to skip my columns and go to those websites where bloggers get no closer to the action than a TV screen and make up stories.

What do YOU think? Let me know!

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