September 16, 2019

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NFL visitors from Oakland flunk geography test about Winnipeg 'home'

Rookie punter A.J. Cole III apologized to the citizens of Winnipeg on Twitter. (Tony Gonzales / Oakland Raiders)

Rookie punter A.J. Cole III apologized to the citizens of Winnipeg on Twitter. (Tony Gonzales / Oakland Raiders)

A National Football League player sporting a T-shirt that pins Winnipeg a little too far west on the map is just the latest in a series of screwups that have raised eyebrows and bruised egos in the city.

On Wednesday evening, a few hours after the Oakland Raiders landed at Richardson International Airport ahead of tonight’s pre-season game against the Green Bay Packers at IG Field, the team tweeted a photo of rookie punter A.J. Cole III wearing a shirt with the word “Winnipeg” under a silhouette of the city’s skyline, with “Alberta” in smaller letters.

Looks like @DanielCarlson38 and @AJCole90 are ready for ���� pic.twitter.com/Is0m7MqoY3

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A National Football League player sporting a T-shirt that pins Winnipeg a little too far west on the map is just the latest in a series of screwups that have raised eyebrows and bruised egos in the city.

On Wednesday evening, a few hours after the Oakland Raiders landed at Richardson International Airport ahead of tonight’s pre-season game against the Green Bay Packers at IG Field, the team tweeted a photo of rookie punter A.J. Cole III wearing a shirt with the word "Winnipeg" under a silhouette of the city’s skyline, with "Alberta" in smaller letters.

After social-media users pointed out the error, Cole tweeted, "apologies to the citizens of Winnipeg, Manitoba... just a kid from Atlanta, Florida playing football in Oakland, Nevada with a low geography IQ."

Earlier, when a Twitter user said Cole must have bought the shirt at a flea market and the Raiders jokingly asked the punter about it through their account, Cole replied: "if amazon prime counts as a cheap flea market, guilty as charged lol."

A search of Amazon.com Thursday morning showed at least five other iterations of the "Winnipeg, Alberta" T-shirt Cole was pictured wearing.

Other Raiders players also commented on the geographical error. Kicker Daniel Carlson, who was wearing a Winnipeg Jets T-shirt in another photo posted by the Raiders, tweeted at Cole, "don’t you know that Winnipeg is in Manitoba???"

The Raiders are the "home" team tonight. The Blue Bombers, one of IG Field's permanent residents, chimed in Wednesday night, tweeting at the Raiders, "We can’t wait to visit you in Oakland, Nevada."

Mayor Brian Bowman joined the fray later, tweeting at Cole, saying "It’s all good" and that "Winnipeg and Alberta are both cool places! Welcome to our city."

A photo of safety Johnathan Abram wearing the same shirt was also posted on the Raiders website, and at least one other player is also seen wearing it. Although some social-media users assumed the photos were shot after the team landed in Winnipeg, the photos were taken while the team boarding their flight to Winnipeg in California.

Raiders safety Johnathan Abram (24) departs for their game in Winnipeg against the Green Bay Packers . (Matt Aguirre / Oakland Raiders)

Raiders safety Johnathan Abram (24) departs for their game in Winnipeg against the Green Bay Packers . (Matt Aguirre / Oakland Raiders)

Add it to the list of geographic typos and errors Winnipeg has endured in the past.

In 2011, before Irish rock superstars U2 hit the stage at Winnipeg Stadium, an electronic message board above the stage featured a crawl with the names of cities on the band's world tour, including "Winnepeg." Frontman Bono apologetically noted the error during their performance.

And it's not an uncommon spelling error. While touring in support of a 1995 album, Oakland punk band Rancid sold T-shirts listing the date and location of each stop on its tour, including one in "Winnepeg."

More recently, Canadian alt-rock band Sloan promoted its upcoming Winnipeg show in a sponsored Facebook post, spelling the city's name wrong and advertising a show at the Garrick — in Calgary.

caitlyn.gowriluk@freepress.mb.ca

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History

Updated on Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 8:30 AM CDT: Corrects typo

12:14 PM: Writethru

12:18 PM: Headline changed.

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