The impassive expression on the face of Tedy Bruschi, sandwiched between Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman on ESPN’s “First Take,” moved gradually from rapid eye-blinking to a creased brow of disbelief as he listened to what Smith was saying.
It was, as Smith admitted later, “a brain-lock moment" and it was one that led the Chargers to a “drop the mic” response.
The three were previewing the Thursday night matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers and, well, Smith didn’t appear to know what he was talking about. Differ with him all you want over his football opinions, but these were cold, hard facts about the Chiefs' reliance on running back Spencer Ware. And, uh, the showdown between Hunter Henry and Derrick Johnson.
“I’m also looking at the San Diego Chargers on offense, and I’m thinking about Hunter Henry and the way that he’s played this year and as effective as he’s been,” Smith said. “He’s going up against Derrick Johnson, and I’ve got to keep my eyes on that.”
The problems? They were many. Ware? He’s doubtful to play Thursday because of shoulder and hamstring injuries. Henry? He hasn’t played this year because of a torn ACL. Johnson? He played for the Raiders, not the Chiefs, at least until he was released in October. And we won’t mention that the Chargers no longer are in San Diego.
It was too much for the Chargers social media team, which tweeted a late-breaking update to the Thursday night injury report: “LaDainian Tomlinson, Dan Fouts and Lance Alworth are all OUT for tonight.”
(All three men are already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.)
Live by the take, die by the take. Smith was quickly crushed on social media for his series of mistakes.
Smith clapped back at the array of critics.
“My Brother, it’s called a MISTAKE because I was think [sic] of Virgin Green, but mentioned Hunter because I was multitasking,” he tweeted in response to one critic. “That’s what happens when you’re doing a thousand things. But I don’t blame you if told me to ‘Stay off the Weeeeeeedddddddd!’ That was a brain-lock moment.”
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