Falcons call an ‘Oprah’ audible
The surging Atlanta Falcons are calling on Oprah Winfrey for last-minute help.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan barked "Four-Oprah!" to his offense during Atlanta’s 24-14 victory Sunday over Minnesota — using the former talk show host’s name as an "audible" to alert his team to a quick play change.
In football terms, an "audible" means that the quarterback changes the play at the line of scrimmage when he spots something in the other team’s defensive coverage.
Ryan’s Oprah audible was noticed by James Duthie, a broadcaster for Canada’s The Sports Network.
Duthie, who covers hockey, tweeted about it in the second quarter of Sunday’s game while watching the action on FOX.
"I thought I was hearing things, but the guys on the broadcast [Brian Billick and Thom Brennaman] mentioned it briefly in passing," Duthie told the New York Post. "And a couple of plays later I heard it again. It was bizarro.
"I actually like the fact that they have a little creativity. They can really say anything they want at the line [during an audible] and it’s usually mumbo-jumbo, letters or ‘slant this, post this, corner that.’"
Falcons spokesman Reggie Roberts said the team’s coach, Mike Smith, did not wish to comment on the odd audible.
"Coach Smith wants to pass on talking about our audibles," Roberts said. "He’s being a coach and being careful."