It’s bad enough when national pundits discussing the NFL cite players who are not involved in a game, with highlights there including Stephen A. Smith citing injured Hunter Henry against unemployed Derrick Johnson, claiming Washington started punter Tress Way at quarterback, and mixing up who Kareem Hunt played for, and Colin Cowherd talking up the matchup impact of Rashaad Penny (who was on injured reserve at the time). It’s worse when pundits completely make up players, like Cowherd did with Bears’ running back “Armstrong.” And while it’s more of an understandable slip of the tongue than Cowherd’s journey from “David Montgomery” to “Armstrong,” ESPN‘s Robert Griffin III had something along that line Monday, listing “George Aiyuk” instead of Brandon Aiyuk.
Griffin appeared on the network’s Monday Night Countdown (he’s a regular on that show this year, replacing Randy Moss) ahead of Monday’s San Francisco 49ers–Arizona Cardinals Monday Night Football game in Mexico City. There, he donned a very nicely decorated prop Infinity Gauntlet, which fits into a long line of Disney corporate synergy elements on broadcasts) and started listing off the many offensive weapons the 49ers have. But it can be difficult to remember all the different elements amidst one’s weaponry, and that led to Griffin including “George Aiyuk.” To Griffin’s credit, though, he laughed about that himself afterwards on Twitter:
The 49ers Infinity Gauntlet so powerful I made up a player! WTF is George Aiyuk? ? pic.twitter.com/mpKks8BQlM
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) November 22, 2022
You’d think possessing a Mind Stone would help one’s recall a bit. In fairness to Griffin, though, live TV is hard, and listing off a number of different players in a short pick is always a challenge. And at least this slip was a little more G-rated than some of Griffin’s other comments.
And Griffin wasn’t wrong with his pick, or with his general sense of the 49ers’ receivers. Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 228 yards and four touchdowns in San Francisco’s 38-10 win, with two of those going to Aiyuk and the other two going to George Kittle (who Griffin also listed). But it is funny to see him get Aiyuk’s name wrong, especially as his confidence here was far higher than with Nebraska’s geographical neighbors (which he got right!). Props to him for acknowledging the error and having fun with it, though.
[Robert Griffin III on Twitter]