Ben Deibler Little League World Series

Photos via Jeff D. Lowe/Twitter

This flirty tweet that sent the sports world aflame was actually a fake

Shoot your shot. Unless it's not real.


Josh Katzowitz

Internet Culture

Posted on Aug 10, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 8:59 pm CDT

Ben Deibler is the shortstop and leadoff hitter for the Vermont squad that’s currently competing in the Little League World Series. He hit a two-run double on Tuesday against the squad from Massachusetts, and he started an important double play in the third inning that squashed a rally from his opponents.

But his biggest score on Tuesday came in the form of this on-screen graphic that appeared during an ESPN broadcast of the New England regional tournament. Meet Deibler, a shortstop who might be the most romantic preteen in the country.

Hey, who hasn’t had a crush on their teacher? But how many of us get to go on national TV and profess our love to our potential paramour? This kid and this kid alone.

Except that’s not what happened at all. It turns out that the graphic is a creation of image manipulation. This tweet from a Good Morning America social media producer made it clear that the chyron on the telecast never actually appeared, and ESPN confirmed to the Daily Dot on Thursday afternoon the graphic “did not appear on ESPN’s Little League coverage.”

Naturally, this must have disappointed Twitter, which immediately fell in love with Deibler after the fake chyron was unveiled (because of the balls this kid apparently had shown).

But some people never believed the graphic was real…

… And it turns out those people were correct.

Take a look at Neibler’s favorite movie—the one in the real chyron—and it’s a pretty apt description for those of us who were fooled by the initial teacher-crush tweet.

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*First Published: Aug 10, 2017, 3:35 pm CDT