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Couple at baseball game in New Britain, Connecticut (YouTube)
Couple at baseball game in New Britain, Connecticut (YouTube)

Fake me out to the ball game? Viral baseball proposal video was a cheap hoax Add to ...

Yep, we’ve been duped again.

Turns out that viral YouTube video of a failed marriage proposal during a minor league baseball game in Connecticut last week was a hoax orchestrated by the home team’s promotional department.

Since being posted last weekend, the video titled “Girl says no to marriage proposal at Rock Cats Baseball Game” has received more than one million views on YouTube and has been covered incessantly on ESPN, CNN and various network newscasts.

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Upon second viewing, the most remarkable aspect of the video is that anybody believed it in the first place.

In the video, a young couple takes the field during a break in playing at a home game for the New Britain Rock Cats baseball team. The man bends to one knee and asks his girlfriend to marry him. The woman hems and haws before finally blurting out, “I can’t!” The man then runs away as the stadium crowd hoots and hollers mercilessly.

Now we learn that the whole thing was a fake.

On Wednesday, the Rock Cats posted a statement on its website admitting that the embarrassing moment was a big con and -- get this -- they’re thrilled with the results.

“After watching a public proposal, we talked about what would happen if the answer were NO, and how that might affect a crowd, and those viewing it after on video,” said Mike Abramson, the team’s vice president of marketing in the statement.

“We worked with two of our staff on the skit and executed a digital strategy to set the video on a viral path; we could not be more pleased with the outcome.”

And incredibly, this isn’t the first time a minor league ball team has faked a nasty romantic scenario in order to generate online clicks. It’s almost enough to make you lose faith in the Internet.

Last May, at a home game for the Fresno Grizzlies in Fresno, California, the “kiss-cam” zoomed in on a couple with hopes of getting them to smooch for the Jumbotron.

One man keeps talking on his phone instead of acknowledging his date. She tries to kiss him but is rebuffed. She tries again, he keeps on talking. And on the third attempt, she dumps her beer on his head and storms off.

Hilarious, right? And absolutely fake.

In the case of the Rock Cats fake proposal, the team’s website statement was tagged with a mild mea culpa: “If anyone was offended by the promotion in any way we sincerely apologize; this endeavor was intended to entertain and remind fans you never know what you’re going to see at a Rock Cats game,” he said.

Just don’t believe everything you see.

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