Josh Allen came into the game Thursday looking to get the Buffalo Bills back on track, but instead sparked a viral debate about the famous person he named in a first-quarter hearing.
In the team’s Oct. 26 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Allen changed a play at the line of scrimmage by calling out the name of a famous person – although exactly who he named was disputed. Some fans listened to singer and famous NFL girlfriend Taylor Swift, while others listened to former NBA sharpshooter JR Smith.
Josh Allen’s viral call
Just under nine and a half minutes before the end of the second quarter, Allen decided the play and the Bills went for the decisive field goal. After checking the defense, Allen appeared to audibly call a name on the front line.
That’s where the debate began. Some fans heard Allen shouting Swift’s name while others swore it was JR Smith. The Bills quickly weighed in on the viral debate, sharing a clip of the video and asking fans to find out what name they heard him shout.
“Doesn’t he say JR Smith??” One fan wrote further Xformerly known as Twitter.
“Am I losing my mind?! I’m still listening JR. Smith,” Bills reporter Ryan Talbot continued X.
Some fans were frustrated by the apparent reference to Swift, who has garnered a lot of attention for her appearances at Chiefs games this season in support of Kelce.
Josh Allen’s other famous Audible
Later in the second quarter, Allen had another notable rush, which turned out to be a touchdown drive. As Allen approached the line, he called out “LeBron James” – an audible signal the team has used in the past.
As Talbot noted, the “LeBron James” call provided further evidence that the earlier tone was referring to Smith, his teammate on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“Back to LeBron James audible. That makes me think it was definitely JR Smith back in the day,” Talbot further shared X.
Allen also used the “LeBron James” audible signal in the team’s season-opening game against the New York Jets. Allen ended up throwing the ball away on the play after audibly doing so, leaving the Los Angeles Lakers star wondering what the play would have looked like. James went to X to deliver a message about Allen’s deployment, saying he was curious about what the Bills’ quarterback might have called.
“I wonder what that audible ‘LeBron James’ scream from Josh Allen meant,” James continued Xand added “LOL.”
Allen has used some colorful audibles in the past. During the team’s 2022 season opener against the Los Angeles Rams, he was heard yelling “blue cheese” before a game.
Thursday’s game is a crucial opportunity for the Bills after a difficult three-game stretch that included losses to the Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots and a win over the New York Giants to level at the end of the season the goal line required to make the turnaround. The Bills entered the game against the Bucs at 4-3, just behind the 5-2 Miami Dolphins in the AFC East.
Nathan Dougherty is a sports reporter who covers the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions for Heavy. He previously wrote for the Rochester Business Journal and was associate editor of the sports journals Coaching Management, Athletic Management and Training & Conditioning. He lives in Rochester, New York and loves all things soccer. More about Nathan Dougherty