It was not one of Stephen A. Smith’s finest moments.
On Thursday’s edition of his show, ESPN’s “First Take,” Smith made a series of blunders in a span of 30 seconds on information that most average sports fans would know, let alone one of the leading sports commentators in the country.
Smith was giving his preview of Thursday night’s big AFC West game between the 11-2 Kansas City Chiefs and the 10-3 Los Angeles Chargers when the gaffe-fest unfolded.
First, he wasn’t aware that Chiefs running back Spencer Ware was listed as doubtful and reportedly was ruled out with a shoulder injury suffered in Sunday’s win over the Baltimore Ravens.
“I’m going to have some faith in Spencer Ware and thinking that he can do some things. I’m keeping my eyes on this matchup,” Smith declared.
Co-host Max Kellerman interrupted him, saying, “Spencer Ware is out.”
“I’m sorry,” said Smith.
“Spencer Ware is out,” repeated Kellerman.
“Oh yes, yes. I’m sorry, I forgot. Absolutely, he is out,” said Smith, who plowed ahead with his analysis. “But I’m thinking Tyreek Hill, I’m thinking Patrick Mahomes, I’m also looking at the San Diego Chargers on offense and I’m thinking about Hunter Henry and the way he’s played this year.”
Kellerman and guest analyst Tedy Bruschi were about as puzzled as Bert and Ernie in “It’s a Wonderful Life” when George Bailey was asking what happened to Mary and his kids at the end of the Christmas classic. Mary was about to close up the library, Hunter Henry hasn’t played all year due to a torn ACL, and the Chargers have been in Los Angeles for the past two seasons.
Then Smith broke down how Henry would fare against the Chiefs defense.
“He’s going up against Derrick Johnson and I’ve got to keep my eyes on that because I’m looking at it from the standpoint of …” Smith stopped in mid-sentence, perhaps realizing that Derrick Johnson is not only no longer on the Chiefs, he’s out of football, having last played for the Oakland Raiders before they let him go in October.
Bruschi just looked off to the side, while Kellerman stared straight ahead in disbelief.
Twitter, of course, had a lot of fun with Smith’s blunders.
Do I start Hunter Henry as an upside TE2 tonight or Spencer Ware!?!?!
Keep in mind Henry is gonna be blanketed by Derrick Johnson!
— Jeffrey Rachlin (@JeffRachlin_FF) December 13, 2018
My Stephen A Smith matchups to watch in Colts/Cowboys this weekend
-Unitas vs Dat Nguyen
-Marvin Harrison vs Mo Claiborne
— Jeff Cavanaugh (@JC1053) December 13, 2018
Even the Chargers couldn’t resist mocking him.
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) December 13, 2018
Smith himself had a laugh at his own expense.
My Brother, it’s called a MISTAKE because I was think of Virgil Green, but mentioned Hunter because I was multi-tasking. That’s what happens when you’re doing a thousand things. But I don’t blame you if you told me to “Stay Off The Weeeeeeedddddddd.!” That was a brain-lock moment https://t.co/hhFfUmbhiu
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) December 13, 2018
“My Brother, it’s called a MISTAKE because I was think of Virgil Green, but mentioned Hunter because I was multi-tasking,” he tweeted. “That’s what happens when you’re doing a thousand things. But I don’t blame you if you told me to “Stay Off The Weeeeeeedddddddd.!” That was a brain-lock moment.”
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