Colts Owner Accidentally Sparks Reggie Wayne Death Rumor

A Colts trivia contest went horribly awry, accidentally sparking rumors that NFL legend Reggie Wayne had died. | Source: Bobby Ellis / Getty Images / AFP

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”

The question has multiple correct answers (shoutout to Aaron Morehead and Zach Pascal), but the overwhelming majority of replies shared a different response: Reggie Wayne.

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.

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.

Even Reggie Wayne himself had to run a quick search to make sure he hadn’t kicked the bucket.

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.

Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:09 PM

Josiah Wilmoth: Josiah is the former U.S. Editor at CCN.com, where he focused on financial markets. He lives in rural Virginia. Connect with him on LinkedIn or email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.