Pat McAfee Thought Lincoln Riley Had Actually Died After Joe Biden Gaffe During State Of The Union

Pat McAfee
The Pat McAfee Show

What’s that quote about a lie getting halfway around the world before the truth has time to get its pants on?

In the age of social media, it seems like every other day there’s a new rumor popping up that some celebrity has died. I’m not even sure how they start, but many times these people have to hop on themselves and confirm that they are not, in fact, dead.

Of course in the case of Lincoln Riley last night we know how the “rumor” (if you want to call it that) started.

During his State of the Union address, President Joe Biden made a mistake while talking about Laken Riley, the Georgia college student who was tragically killed by an illegal immigrant last month.

So far the White House and Biden have been pretty quiet about Riley’s death, despite the fact that it’s become a political symbol of the immigration debate that’s currently one of the top issues in the 2024 election.

But Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene called out Biden during his speech, heckling the president to “say her name.”

And Biden gave it his best shot, but in trying to say her name, he mispronounced her name and instead of saying Laken Riley, called her “Lincoln Riley” – who of course is the head football coach at USC and is very much still alive.

Immediately after the gaffe, Lincoln Riley’s name began trending on Twitter (can we just all agree that we’re not calling it X at this point?) as the memes began to pop up.

But if you weren’t watching the State of the Union (full disclosure, I didn’t watch), you might have been a little confused when you hopped on Twitter and saw all the tweets about Lincoln Riley being killed.

Which is exactly what happened to Pat McAfee.

Today on his show, McAfee said that when he saw Lincoln Riley trending on Twitter, he went to see what was going on, because Riley had recently appeared on his show. And the first thing he saw was a tweet saying that the coach was dead:

“I get on the phone after this event that we’re at and it’s Lincoln Riley, he’s trending all over. I click, ‘He’s dead.’

Lincoln Riley’s dead? Wait a second, who said that? The president. Lincoln Riley’s dead?”

Obviously McAfee was pretty confused,

“I saw his name trending, I’m like, wait, he was just on the show. What did Lincoln Riley do? Because Caleb Williams obviously, there’s so much in there…

The first thing I saw was ‘Lincoln Riley is dead.’ I have a moment of like, what?”

If that doesn’t sum up the internet, I’m not sure what does.

Well McAfee soon realized what was going on, and that Lincoln Riley was not, in fact, murdered by an illegal immigrant. But I’m sure that had to be a heart-sinking few moments with no context.



A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock