Eddie Johnson and Clint Dempsey celebrate while at Fulham
The night that Twitter convinced us Clint Dempsey was going to Seattle to sign for the Sounders – except he actually wasn't | THE SIDELINE -

The following is an excerpt from the soon-to-be best-selling novel, entitled "Twitter Is Absolutely Crazy and That's Why We Love It."

Good morning, East Coast residents of the United States of America and Canada; it is Friday, August 2, 2013, and have I got a story for you.

So there was once this guy. He went by the name of Clint Dempsey. He was chosen as captain of the US national team for a handful of games this past June in which the USMNT went a perfect nine-for-nine in points during three World Cup qualifiers.

This Dempsey is a really talented soccer player, and a lot of soccer teams around the world would love to have a player of his caliber.

Including a lot of teams in the league in America, called Major League Soccer (MLS). And one one night at the beginning of August in the year of 2013 (it was only last night, in fact), that nearly happened. Except, that it didn't nearly happen at all.

The following events take place between the hours of 1 pm PT and 9 pm PT, and they occur in real time.
1:53 pm PT (4:53 pm ET)

64 people retweeted that particular tweet, along with the more than 9,000 people that follow Keith Costigan who also saw it. Dempsey back in MLS would be pretty cool, wouldn't it? At the time: But still, meh, big deal. 15 other American MLS teams would love to sign Clint Dempsey, too.

5:55 pm PT (8:55 pm ET)

At the time, this was the punchline of the evening that no one would ever forget. Eddie, just doing his usual Eddie thing — staying #smoothchillin on #postitivevibes and #positivelivin — gave the entire state of Washington the dose of reality they probably seriously needed. At the time: Eddie Johnson was the voice of reason; what is this world coming to?

Next thing anybody knew, someone — unable to confirm the absolute origin of this report — proclaimed Dempsey was spotted at San Francisco's SFO airport. San Francisco isn't very far from Seattle, you guys. At the time: Come on, this is still kind of silly, you guys.

6:57 pm PT (9:57 pm ET)
August 2, 2013

This is where you East Coasters probably started to retire for the night and missed out on the craziest night in Major League Soccer transfer rumor history. He was legitimately at the airport. I mean, he took a picture with a guy who is very obviously from Seattle and headed there himself, gave the Deuce thumbs up and looked clearly in a serious, I-mean-business mood. At the time: Clint Dempsey is going to the Sounders. Now you're really going to hate them.

7:31 pm PT (10:31 pm ET)
August 2, 2013

Okay, Mr. Jorge, you gained your 100 or so new followers for the night. Your fun is over now. Thanks for that, you really made us believe it was happening — because, I mean, it was on the Internet, so it was totally a real thing that was happening. At the time: It was always too crazy to really be real anyway. Oh well.

Nothing could have been more real and confirming of an impending transfer than a picture of the actual subject of the rumors in an airport (not actually) heading to his rumored destination, right? Wrong, we were just getting started.

8:05 pm PT (11:05 pm ET) Yeah, just click that link in that tweet.

August 2, 2013

Hyperventilation across America. First it was on, then it was off, then it was on again — he was AT THE AIRPORT, for crying out loud — and then it was definitely off again. But then it was on the website, so it was totally on, and this was totally the time it was happening. And it was going to be incredulous. At the time: Definitely a thing, definitely happening.

To be fair to Mr. Usry, he denies being the person to "find" the story on the Sounders' front page, citing that a friend sent it to him.

So we, naturally, speculated for the next 20 minutes — could this be a real photo; was it photoshopped; was someone having fun with advance knowledge of coding; seriously the Sounders didn't screw up and "accidentally" leak this, right?

8:30 pm PT (11:30 pm ET)

You guys were all crazy for believing that picture was real. Seriously, you were. I never believed it was happening. Not even for a second. Like, you just wanted it to be happening so badly, irregardless of what team you support, that you would have believed anything that pointed towards Clint Dempsey in Rave Green. At the time: We're all such idiots. I'm going to bed this time. No, I really am.

Still, though, Seattlites showed up to the Sea-Tac airport and searched high and low for Dempsey. They were convinced they would ultimately find the Pride of Nacogdoches, except that, well, he very obviously wasn't in Seattle at all.

10:33 pm PT (1:33 pm ET)

So you're saying there's hope, Eddie? That's what you're telling us, right? Right?

In conclusion, 2013 is an incredibly strange time in which to be alive, but I wouldn't have missed this one for the world.