Clyde Edwards-Helaire gave the performance of his life Monday night in Buffalo and not a moment too soon with newcomer Le’Veon Bell expected to put a dent in his workload going forward. However, the electric 21-year-old’s 169-yard blowup (161 rushing, eight receiving) in Week 6 was somewhat marred by Joe Buck’s errant pronunciation of his last name.
Whether he misspoke, forgot or simply wasn’t privy to the rookie’s preferred pronunciation during Monday’s Fox telecast, Buck’s gaffe did not go unnoticed with some, including ESPN’s Matthew Berry, heaping criticism on the veteran announcer. For what it’s worth, Berry had no problem with Troy Aikman’s handling of what has quickly become the NFL’s answer to daunting NBA tongue-twister Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Edwards-Helaire is making a pretty compelling case for NFL Rookie of the Year—the former LSU standout ranks second to only Derrick Henry in rushing yards through six games. Yet all anyone can talk about is how to say his last name. Which begs the question, how do you pronounce CEH’s last name? Steve Levy, the current voice of Monday Night Football on ESPN, seemed pretty adamant that it was “Eee-lair” (like a chocolate éclair), though there appears to be little consensus on the subject, at least among Twitter’s resident pronunciation police.
Will our national nightmare ever end, or is the “Eee-lair” vs. “Ell-air” debate destined to rage on into eternity, until the sun consumes us all? You may think I'm being dramatic, but remember, we’re four years in and still no closer to resolving football’s continuing Alvin Kamara conundrum (is it Ka-mare-ah or Ka-marra-ah?).
Luckily, we can put this to bed right now. Where better to seek clarity on the matter than hearing it from the horse’s mouth?
So there you have it. Levy’s “Eee-lair” is the winner. We can all return to our lives again. If we’re having this much trouble with Edwards-Helaire, just wait until fourth-round Mizzou alum Albert Okwuegbunam (who scored a touchdown in his Broncos debut Sunday) rises to NFL stardom. Also, maybe we should cut Buck a little slack. Just look at the man’s schedule this week. Woof.