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How the Brian Hoyer, Andre Johnson trade rumor got started

How did a rumor of the Browns trading Brian Hoyer to the Texans for Andre Johnson fool the Internet for a few hours on Wednesday afternoon? It always comes back to Rex Grossman.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Did you hear? Did you hear? The Houston Texans LOVE Brian Hoyer. They love him so much they're going to trade Andre Johnson for him! Except they're not. But for about four hours on Wednesday afternoon, Twitter was convinced of it.

How does this happen? Let's get to the bottom of it.

Sexy Rexy

This all starts with Rex Grossman (doesn't everything though). ESPN's Ed Werder threw a match on the everclear fumes emanating from the dirty polo shirt Grossman was wearing when the Browns reunited Sexy Rexy with Kyle Shanahan.

Way to go, Ed. You've freaked out the small, but vocal contingent of backers in "Hoyer Country."

Head coach Mike Pettine tried to put out that fire on Tuesday after practice. From ESPN Cleveland:

Some might leap to the conclusion that Grossman's arrival may deem Hoyer expendable through trade (Houston?) if the coaches decide to give the starting job to Manziel. "Absolutely not," Pettine said, firmly.

Rumors resurface

How? This time it was the Kiley & Booms show on local sports talk radio on Wednesday morning. A deejay named Chuck Booms cited a source in Houston Texas, a guy Mr. Booms heard from before the NFL Draft, who told him that Texans head coach "Bill O'Brien has had his sights on Brian Hoyer."

Booms added, via his source, that the Texans would be willing to spend a second-round pick on Hoyer.

Sage knows something

By mid-day Wednesday, Twitter's getting itchy. The Brian Hoyer trade buzz isn't going away. All that fire needs is a little more fuel.

Sage Rosenfels -- remember him? -- stoked the fires with this INSIDERY tweet

Here's where Andre Johnson comes in

Uncle Chaps did it.

If you don't know Uncle Chaps, well, you're probably familiar with him since he's a contributor to our Jaguars blog, Big Cat Country. Or maybe you know him from this video. Even if you don't know Chaps, you're definitely familiar with his work after today.

That's all it took. The shit was stirred. A smoldering rumor about the inexplicably popular Brian Hoyer had the fuel it needed. Excitable boys all over the Internet exploded like napalm, racing to Twitter to tell their friends.

The rumor spreads

From there, the usual suspects picked it up.

That article cited Chaps' tweet in a post, which has since been taken down. It didn't matter. More and more people started tweeting about it, as if it were fact, fed by some of the rumor mill's most infamous bottom feeders.

The AdaRN Schefter bump.

Snuffed out

The media scrambled to reconfirm what had already been confirmed.

There'll be some guy at your fantasy football draft still convinced that something's going to happen; he's one of many who won't let it go no matter how many times it gets shot down.

But that's it. The fire's out. There's probably a moral to this story, but whatever.