A snoozer of a “Monday Night Football” game between the Giants and Chiefs helped create a perfect storm for a one-off tweet to become one of the wildest stories of the year, regardless of sport.
Said tweet came from Tom Campbell, whose Twitter bio indicates he’s based out of Houston but otherwise has no obvious association to the Texas football team. At 6:58 p.m. ET, he reported that a “credible source” within the Longhorns program told him a monkey bit a child on Halloween. The animal belongs to a woman, Danielle Banks, who is in a relationship with Texas assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Jeff Banks.
While that certainly is an exceptional rumor — one that seems to have been corroborated by the animal’s owner — a lack of details about the incident should have made the story disappear quickly into the Twitter timeline. Indeed, the only details Campbell added to his original tweet came from a post by Danielle Banks inviting parents and children to attend a haunted house at her home.
But the Chiefs (4-4) and Giants (2-6) struggled to a relatively boring 20-17 finish in favor of Kansas City. They finished with 368 and 300 yards of offense, respectively, and combined for three turnovers. That allowed more people to take to Twitter, where the initial report became more viral by the minute.
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That was especially true among college football-affiliated Twitter accounts, which retweeted or otherwise commented on the report as more details of the incident came to light. It certainly didn’t help that Danielle Banks, an exotic dancer whose professional name is Pole Assassin, has been known to use a monkey in her routine. (It’s uncertain whether it’s the same monkey that bit the child, but a post on the monkey_gia Instagram account made it appear that way).
She responded to several tweets discussing the story, provided details about the incident. In so doing, she seemingly corroborated Campbell’s initial report and gave more attention to the story. (Her Instagram has since gone private and her Twitter account has been deleted). Regardless, she claimed no parent contacted her or otherwise complained about the incident, and that Jeff Banks had nothing to do with what happened. She also claimed the monkey, a female capuchin named Gia, is vaccinated.
She claimed in a since-deleted video that the child in question intruded into her backyard — ignoring a warning sign to leave the animal alone — and made their way to the animal’s enclosure. In a separate tweet, she said she was unaware anything had happened until a doctor told her the bite needed to be inspected and cleaned.
Here is the transcript from said video, which was mirrored by Twitter user PFT Commenter:
“This is sad that people have to go all out of the way to prove that a person is lying. Here’s the gate. Here’s where all the haunted house action happened. And yes I do clean up fast. The s—t’s gone. Here is the gate that every child and parent was told to turn around at when they got to. It was closed and blocked off with balloons. This is how far the kid went in my backyard without permission all the way to where my animals live.
And watch this: I don’t even play when it comes to my animals. And I know all the legal rules on them. ‘Do not enter, emotional support animal, no touching.’ How could she (the monkey) viciously bite someone if they don’t stick their hand in there where it don’t belong? This is her home, and her home only. It’s already clear as day on the gate. Don’t touch, no one’s allowed back here without my permission.”
The story certainly has a lot of moving parts and it will be interesting to see whether Texas or Jeff Banks responds to the report. Regardless, that’s how the story of a monkey, its owner and a football coach completely trounced “Monday Night Football” as the biggest storyline of the night.
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