When Ben Roethlisberger went down with an apparent shoulder injury on "Monday Night Football," it seemed not only a pivotal moment in the game between the Steelers and the Chiefs but perhaps the entire NFL season. Entering the game, Pittsburgh was attempting to keep the rival Ravens within striking distance atop the AFC North as well as remain in play for a Wild Card playoff berth.
Needless to say, people noticed the injury. Fans worried about it. Journalists reported about it. And everyone tweeted about it.
As soon as Roethlisberger left the game, the injury was widely discussed by the ESPN broadcasters calling the game as well as by fans and journalists on social media. Nevertheless, Rick Reilly could be heard asking colleague Stuart Scott to "say that I had this first on Twitter" when ESPN cameras caught him unaware before the start of a postgame segment on the field.
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Many who heard this unscripted moment had a reaction similar to Steve Young's, who turned to Reilly and delivered a withering glare. While Young may have just been annoyed that this backstage moment occurred while they were live on air, most everyone else, starting with Deadspin, has been more confused by what exactly Reilly was taking credit for.
Beginning at 11:00 p.m. EST on Monday, here are Reilly's tweets about Roethlisberger during the game.
While Reilly's tweets may have added to the information (and speculation) available on Roethlisberger's status and whereabouts, it's hard to say what he was first on Twitter with (the shorts?). Several reporters had tweeted earlier that it was a shoulder injury that felled the Steelers' quarterback. Based on a tweet from Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (@EdBouchette) at 10:25 p.m. EST, the team confirmed that it was a shoulder injury in the press box. One minute later, the official Steelers Twitter account tweeted the same news. Reilly's tweets on the injury would start more than a half hour later.
Prominent among those who couldn't figure out what Reilly was claiming credit for was WFAN radio host Mike Francessa in New York, who delivered a classic (and characteristic) rant on this moment during his Tuesday afternoon show. Francesa began his analysis of the video by asserting that Reilly "ruined his career by going to ESPN." And then he really took off the gloves.
"That's what Rick Reilly was concerned about: Whether he was going to get credit for an injury that everybody in America watched happen on the field," Francesa explained to his listeners. "What was he looking for his scoop in? That he had what? An injured shoulder? We knew that. What? That he had a sprained shoulder? His tweet didn't even say that."
WATCH: Mike Francesa Dissects Reilly's Twitter "Scoop"
This Reilly video (as well as the Francesa response) have gone viral and the ESPN columnist has been targeted on the very social media platform that is apparently quite important to him.
After remaining silent on Twitter as his open mic moment was dissected, Reilly finally acknowledged it with a brief tweet on Wednesday.
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