All Jim Irsay wanted to do was give away a few bucks to a lucky Indianapolis Colts fan and his or her favorite charity, but the billionaire Colts owner inadvertently tricked fans into believing that one of the franchise’s living legends had suffered a premature death.
Jim Irsay’s Colts Trivia Contest Goes Horribly Awry
Seeking to drum up hype for the Colts’ Week 7 home game against the Houston Texans, Irsay tweeted out a simple trivia question with a $1,000 cash prize:
“Name a Colts wide receiver whose first career TD was vs. [the] Texans”
COLTS/TEXANS TRIVIA, for $1,000 + $1,000 to your favorite Indiana-based charity, + 4 prime seats on Sunday: NAME A COLTS WIDE RECEIVER WHOSE FIRST CAREER TD WAS vs. TEXANS, AND THE YEAR; AND YOUR DESIGNATED CHARITY.
— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) October 17, 2019
Wayne, who spent his entire 14-year NFL career with the Colts (outside of a two-week stint with the New England Patriots before the 2015 NFL season), recorded his first career touchdown against the Texans in 2002.
— Reggie Wayne (@ReggieWayne_17) September 28, 2017
That marked the first of 67 TDs that Wayne would catch from Peyton Manning, and he would ultimately retire with 82 regular-season TDs, along with nine in the postseason.
‘Reggie Wayne’ Trends, Prompting Death Rumors
So many people submitted Reggie Wayne’s name that it began to trend on Twitter, prompting Colts fans who had not seen Irsay’s initial tweet to fear that, though just 40 years old, the franchise’s winningest player had lost his matchup against Father Time.
On October 17th, 2019, Reggie Wayne was found peacefully minding his damn business when Twitter decided to get his name trending & scare the hell out of everybody. pic.twitter.com/iOxeYW2dYH
— BLACK ADAM SCHEFTER (@B1ackSchefter) October 17, 2019
Mannnnnnn, I was scared af to click on Reggie Wayne's trending ass. A brother can't take no more
— Mr. Makeithappen (@theycallmeboni) October 17, 2019
Even Reggie Wayne himself had to run a quick search to make sure he hadn’t kicked the bucket.
When you're not sure why you're trending on @Twitter and say to yourself, "Damn. What you do now Reggie…" So you gotta go check it out yourself to make sure you haven't did anything wrong. pic.twitter.com/7npWsnXhWa
— Reggie Wayne (@ReggieWayne_17) October 17, 2019
After recovering from the shock of fearing that their childhood hero had died, Colts fans made the best of the situation by reminiscing about highlights from Wayne’s historic career.