April Fool's Day is hard on reporters and newsreaders alike. The annual tradition can leave confusion, pain and joy in its wake.
To make things a little easier this April Fool's, we compiled a list of pranks we found across the Austin metro today. Some needed a little work to be convincing, while we're still not sure if others are real or fake.
Here are 7 April Fool's jokes to spice up your afternoon:
1. El Arroyo's 'stolen' sign
It is with great sadness that we share some disheartening news… Our famous marquee sign has been stolen. If you have any information about the whereabouts of the sign, or any leads, please comment. #BringBackTheSign #ElArroyoSign pic.twitter.com/4aeiJVPpPB— El Arroyo (@ElArroyo_ATX) April 1, 2021
We may have fallen hardest to this one. Early on April Fool's morning, the restaurant announced that their iconic sign was missing. They even provided security footage shots of what appeared to be four suspects at the scene at around 4 a.m. Thursday morning.
Many said the restaurant was crying wolf, and it was awfully suspicious timing that the iconic sign, which features hilarious new phrases every single day, would go missing on pranksters' favorite day of the year.
On a phone call with Austonia, a restaurant employee chuckled mysteriously and said, "no comment," when asked about the missing sign at 12:25 p.m.
The restaurant later revealed that the precious sign was found at the Yeti location. In a Tweet, the restaurant mocked Austinites and said, "Y'all fell hard for that one, huh?"
We certainly did. This might be the best prank of the day, and it certainly created an authentically Austin April Fool's panic.
2. Did Elon Musk buy Austin?
In the early hours of April Fool's morning, the Austin Chronicle revealed some shocking news. Gov. Greg Abbott had signed away the Texas Capitol, giving the entire city to billionaire Elon Musk, who declared himself the "Iron Mayor."
In the shocking announcement, the Chronicle wrote that Musk appeared via hologram at the signing ceremony and said if there's ever a scandal about him, he'd like it to be called "Elongate." Some, like Attorney General Ken Paxton, decried the statement as "fake news," while Austin Mayor Steve Adler said having a "Technoking" leader that wishes to colonize Mars isn't that off-brand for the "weird" city of Austin.
Don't worry though—Musk couldn't quite get his hands on the Texas Capitol or University of Texas campus.
Technically, this hasn't been confirmed or denied, but we haven't seen any "Iron Mayor" activity today. Some say the prank was a little too real and that the mysterious tech giant is "scary enough as it is."
A for effort on this one, Austin Chronicle.
3. Camila McConaughey goes classic prankster on her kids
Camila McConaughey became a bad influence for mischievous kids everywhere when she pulled a prank on her son, Livingston, and Matthew himself.
McConaughey took video as she fed her unsuspecting son and husband toothpaste-filled Oreos.
"Spicy," Livingston cried after taking a big bite. "You tricked us!"
Everything was not "alright, alright alright" for Mr. McConaughey. A bit more disgruntled than his son, McConaughey exclaimed "Nasty, what is that?" as he threw the remaining Oreo off a balcony.
Camila even provided a link for more April Fool's ideas, a power move that could inspire thousands of aspiring pranksters.
4. Is Austin's housing market slowing down?
The Austin-based realty group said words that have almost never been spoken by Austinites—especially in the past year.
In an Instagram post Thursday morning, the company posted the harrowing phrase, "the Austin housing market is slowing down." No need to fear—the culprit behind the quote is "literally nobody."
In the post, they said "can't even get through the sentence a second time," adding "Happy April Fool's Day!"
A good marketing trick, but it's not fooling anyone who's seen the city's booming housing market recently.
5. Old Thousand goes emo
Chinese food chain Old Thousand is transforming its two locations for April Fool's Day.
At their location on Burnet, the restaurant is now emo sandwich shop Jimmy Eat Sandwich. All day, they'll be jamming to pop punk, selling T-shirts and offering classic sandwiches.
At their 11th Street location, the restaurant is fusing with Red Lobster-esque meals as "Old Lobster." Menu items include twists like cheddar "Bae" scallion pancakes, crab rangoons and shrimp scampi lo mein.
Seems like this yummy, punk twist on April Fool's is really taking off.
6. Messi comes to Austin
Messi is going to sign with Austin Bold FC next season...got ya...April Fools or whatever.— Austin Bold FC (@AustinBoldFC) April 1, 2021
I guess they are technically Austin's first-ever pro team, but USL soccer club Austin Bold FC isn't fooling anyone.
The team announced they were signing Lionel Messi for next season—and immediately gave away the prank in the same tweet. For those who don't know, Messi is considered one of the best professional soccer players of all time.
Even the most diehard Austin soccer fans would've had a hard time believing this one even without the quick disclaimer.
7. Austin EMS workers get a veggie surprise
The Austin Emergency Center should know better than to mess with Austinites and their tacos.
AEC staff were surprised to see their Taco Cabana boxes were hiding veggies instead of Tex-Mex meals. Luckily for both the center and staff, the AEC revealed where the real tacos were hiding soon after.
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This Black Friday, T-Pain and Normani want you to shop at Black Pearl Books on Burnet Road.
A mini-film showing Atlanta-based singer Tanerélle taking an elevator to “Black-owned shops near me,” highlights dozens of stores all over the country, and Austin shop Black Pearl Books made the list. The film came about through a partnership between Google and the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. to reimagine Black Friday as “Black-owned Friday," a day to search, shop and support Black-owned businesses. And what better way to send the message than with a new upbeat track by T-Pain featuring Normani.
Google presents the #BlackOwnedFriday film feat. T-Pain and Normani youtu.be
Black Pearl Books, which celebrated its one-year store anniversary just last week, is offering deals through Monday. For in-store shopping, purchases are buy-one get-one 50% and free shipping on all purchases over $30 for online orders.
Black Pearl mentions that the meaning behind the name is in reference to a mysterious rare gemstone symbolizing independence, strength, wisdom, wealth, prosperity, love and hope. The store offers physical books as well as audiobooks, eBooks, and merchandise like t-shirts and stickers. And if you like a signed copy of a book, they may have that as well.
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In this season of gifts, giving, and gratitude, Tito's is making it easy to shop for your friends and loved ones while helping our community.
The beloved Austin company's Love, Tito's retail space, downtown at 215 Lavaca Street, is fully stocked with great gear. 100% of net proceeds of whatever you purchase—a new collar for your four-legged friend, a Tito's tee, some branded barware—go to the nonprofits they support. From the environment to animal rescue, you can choose your cause while choosing a new copper cocktail kit… or old school cap… or golf polo.
The store is stocked with stuff that the online experience just can't offer: never-before-seen swag, doggy photo booths (to say it's a dog-friendly space is an understatement), a record player to spin some tunes, and a bar finder listing local spots serving mean Tito's cocktails. Locals and out-of-town visitors alike can enjoy wonderful distractions while kicking back in an environment designed to cater to Tito's fans.
While you can't enjoy a cocktail there due to Texas liquor laws, the store offers unique experiences for any and all fans of the brand, and gives folks a chance to find what resonates with them while taking home a piece of the Tito's story.
*At our Love, Tito's store in Austin, net proceeds constitute an average margin of at least 25% of the retail price of a product, excluding the cost of tax on the purchase. We are not deducting cost of our people, the store rent or other operating costs.
NFTs, which are essentially unhackable codes used as one-of-a-kind "certificates of authenticity" paid for with cryptocurrency Ethereum, have been cropping up in the Austin art scene and worldwide—and they're quickly evolving into a sports fans' paradise as a new way to snag some bragging rights through digital trading cards, tickets and highlight reels.
Here are five Austin-based athletes and sports venues now involved in NFTs:
NiftyHorns—emerging Texas NFT producer
🚨🤘🏽Player Announcement!— Nifty Horns (@NiftyHorns) September 24, 2021
First up to the plate - a man who capped a scorching spring with postseason heroics in Omaha - from El Paso, TX…
Ivan Melendez! @ivanmelendez17_
NFT trading cards for the Hispanic Titanic will be available this fall as part of our first pack drop. pic.twitter.com/2xI3aMd6Tv
College sports' entrance to NFTs originally came from another Austin—a picture of Stephen F. Austin's women's basketball team as they made their first NCAA championship berth was the first to break into the market in March 2020.
Now with NCAA NIL rules in their favor, it's easier than ever for Texas athletes to cash in on their clout. The University of Texas' LEVERAGE Lineup looks to serve as a database to connect even walk-on Longhorn athletes—like Surly Horn's "Burnt Ends" tight ends deal—to lucrative sponsorship contracts.
But there hasn't yet been a database that gives each player their own Robinson-esque NFT trading card—until NiftyHorns stepped in with an NFT business model that they hope to one day have officially linked to the school.
They've already made headway with an NFT for Longhorns baseball player Ivan Melendez using the same blockchain utilized by TopShot.
"(We want to) not make it exclusive to star players or just the big three sports," NiftyHorns co-founder Josh Pitel said. "We feel very fortunate to be in a space where the fan base is large enough and passionate enough to actually support a wide variety of athletes."
Bijan Robinson—Candy.com trading card
With nearly 130,000 followers across Twitter and Instagram, Bijan Robinson is a star on and off the football field. He's used that clout to his advantage and partnered with Raising Cane's, Athletic Brewing and Centre Apparel.
And he's now following in the footsteps of NBA's TopShot with his very own NFT. Trading cards are a growing commodity in the NFT community, with TopShot raking in $700 million on cards, highlight reels and more last year.
Robinson's 100 Rare NFTs currently sit at $250 and feature a hero shot, his jersey number, position and an animated signature with a sleek, high-tech gold finish.
COTA NFTs—360 views and tickets too
Each of the two NFTs feature 360 views of different aspects of the COTA track. (Circuit of the Americas)
Back in October, Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein appeared to embody his promise to make the 2021 U.S. Grand Prix the "biggest event on the planet this year" as an estimated 400,000 attendees made it through the gates for the Formula One weekend event.
To commemorate the event, the circuit decided to leap into the trendy NFT scene with two 360-degree panoramas, set at minimum bids of $30,000 each. And like many who look to tack on physical elements to the mystical crypto world, the circuit includes two VIP passes for MotoGP or Formula 1 events this year or next.
"Circuit of The Americas hosts some of the world's most iconic sports and entertainment events," Epstein said in a press release. "Just as visitors realize how unique and special COTA is, we know collectors will appreciate the significance behind our designs as well as the premium hospitality associated with the winning bids."
Campbell-Williams Field NFT Collection—a true UT NFT
Check out this dope project I did for the Campbell-Williams Field NFT Collection!— Bryson Williams (@artofbryson) September 11, 2021
Titled "Longhorn Legacies" Made in collaboration with @VybHouse and @Rickthelaureate
For more info check out https://t.co/XFr5gDSFta pic.twitter.com/SRCyWsjVqM
As the school's two Heisman Trophy winners, UT football legends Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams made sports history at their times as running backs for the Longhorns football team—and they encouraged others to become part of sports history themselves with a rare collection of 100 NFTs in honor of the renaming of the school's historic football stadium.
In collaboration with UT, Campbell and Williams created the collection a year after the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium was renamed in their honor. The "Campbell-Williams Field NFT Collection" included:
- The Campbell-Williams Experience NFT, which gives its owner two VIP tickets to the 2022 Super Bowl and Williams' Super Bowl 2022 party in Los Angeles,, dinner with Earl Campbell and friends and a 'UT Legend' memorabilia package.
- The ArtofBryson NFT, which included two tickets to The Red River Showdown (UT vs. Oklahoma) on Oct. 9, a Zoom call with both Williams and Campbell, signed cleats from current running back Robinson, and other care package add-ons.
- The Moon Ticket: six NFTs that grants its owners to an out-of-this-world astrology chat with Williams
- And the 100 trading-card style NFTs featuring artwork and both players' digital signatures.
USMNT—and their NFTs—come to Austin
As the U.S. Men's National Team headed to Austin's brand-new Q2 Stadium to play Jamaica in October, so did its Only Forward Art Series. This edition of the months-long series featured a poster design from Austin artist Phoebe "Feebee" Joynt.
Joynt incorporated her specialties in graphic design, street art and logo work to create the gameday poster, which was featured around town, at Austin FC's downtown store and online as an NFT.
"I was thrilled to work with FootyCon and U.S. Soccer," FeeBee told the USMNT. "I've always had a passion for soccer after being introduced to the sport by my dad as a young child and I'm so excited to create a piece inspired by the game that also references and is in dialogue with the amazing city of Austin that I call home."
The rare free NFT became available to all fans attending the Oct. 7 World Cup Qualifier as well as via purchase on the NTWRK app the day before the game.
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