Update: As of this afternoon, ESPN has acknowledged the mistake and is working to inform all powers that be on their shows and various platforms that Andre is the person in the video. Thank you for making the correction, ESPN!
Last night, I was happily settled into my Monday night routine. I was comfortable in my onesie, the tv was on ESPN Monday Night Countdown and I was chatting with my mother about the day’s events. We were bother eagerly awaiting our favorite segment, C’mon Man!
The last C’Mon Man started off with a clip of future Half of Famer, Ray Lewis, who was honored in Baltimore this past Sunday. Chris Berman then proceeded to prep us for what was coming when he asked how Lewis could be in two places at the same time. As he alluded to the fact that Halloween was Saturday the video switched from the clip of Lewis to a clip of someone who has dressed up as Ray Lewis for Halloween. My mama and I immediately screamed because we knew who the impersonator was. It was my friend, Andre Boyd! I jumped off the bed so I could get closer to the tv to snap pictures of this milestone. I was beaming with pride for my friend. Unfortunately, that quickly faded when the cameras cut to Lewis, who was laughing. He was detailing how hard he laughed when the video was sent to him of Travis Johnson impersonating him.
Who was this Travis Johnson taking credit for Dre’s brilliance? How dare he? You know my fingers went to work. It took me all of three minutes to figure out that Travis Johnson was a former NFL player who saw the video and posted it. Dre doesn’t use social media so he didn’t know who to credit the video to. When he posted, he didn’t say it was him nor did he allude that it was him. Crisis averted there.
I, along with friends, worked hard last night to get Dre his just due. I exchanged tweets with Johnson who tried as well to get this corrected. I even asked Johnson to tweet that it wasn’t him, which he did, but to no avail I woke up this morning and plenty of entities, namely ESPN, and others are still attributing the video to Johnson.
Beffuddled, baffled and annoyed come to mind when I sit to think about how so many, namely ESPN, have gotten this wrong. Johnson attributes the mistake to Dre’s lack of social media presence. This apparently made it hard for the powers that be to verify it is him. Sadly, this is true because the media relies heavily on social media. You can seem non-existent without a social media presence. However, it doesn’t take rocket science or physics to know that Travis Johnson is NOT the man in the video. Old school tactics of researching the origin of the video still works as well. I’m guessing that’s a foreign concept now. And I’m guessing whoever took this and ran with it has NEVER seen a picture of Johnson.
In an age, where this gaff was easily preventable, I am very disappointed in ESPN. I’ve had one of their bloggers ignore my tweets about it as I worked to correct the information he had put out to millions. Tweets and emails to ESPN have not warranted responses. And no matter how many times Johnson says it’s not him, it seems as if the powers that be are just scrolling by his confirmations.
I’m all over this and I will continue to work hard to ensure my friend gets the credit be deserves. His portrayal of Lewis was brilliant and might have birthed the newest catchphrase, “with effort.” If anybody’s going to snatch their 15 seconds plus some of fame for this instant classic, it’s going to be Andre Boyd. I’m going to make sure of that!
Thank you Travis Johnson & one of my favorite ESPN anchors, Jay Harris for your help with this matter!!!! We appreciate it!