Sorry NBC, that's not Mark Zuckerberg

Actor Jesse Eisenberg, right, was in London watching Sunday's gold-medal hoops game between Spain and the United States.

Story highlights

  • NBC sportscaster appears to mistake 'Social Network' actor for Mark Zuckerberg
  • A Deadspin video shows actor Jesse Eisenberg at an Olympic basketball match
  • Announcer: "I know I'm gonna put that picture on Facebook"
  • "We've got every executive of note, it seems, worldwide, attending these Games," he says

An NBC sports announcer was playing the classic game of spot-celebrities-in-the-stands during the gold medal Olympics match in men's basketball when this happened:

"I know I'm gonna put that picture on Facebook," Bob Fitzgerald said as the camera showed a young man with curly hair and a red hat, according to a video posted on the blog Deadspin.

"We've got every executive of note, it seems, worldwide, attending these Games."

The problem: The man in the audience wasn't Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. It was the actor, Jesse Eisenberg, who played him in the Academy Award-winning movie "The Social Network."

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Oops, right? Well, the Internet won't quite let a gaffe like that pass without some dissection.


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"Hey ball announcer: that was Jesse Eisenberg who played Marc Zuckerberg in a movie. He didn't create Facebook. #Olympics #NBCfail" one user, Mike Sigmond, wrote on Twitter.

"The Eisenberg Principle - When you are absolutely certain that you're looking at Mark Zuckerberg but it's really Jesse Einsenberg. #NBCFail," wrote Sandy Sternshein.

Another wrote that it was a "buzzerbeater #NBCFail for the Olympics."

It was just another reason to revive what has been the omnipresent #NBCFail hashtag during the London Games. That meme mostly has been used by Americans who have loved to complain about the fact that many of the 2012 Olympic events were shown in the United States on a tape delay.

But maybe there's something a little more interesting going on here: Sports announcers make mistakes all the time. Sure, it's live TV. But in the same way that the comedian Tina Fey sort of became Sarah Palin during the 2008 U.S. presidential race, Eisenberg became a sort of stand-in for Zuckerberg's real persona, particularly right after that movie debuted. (To make things all the more confusing, the pair appeared together on Saturday Night Live.)

At the time, at least, some people seemed to know the fictional Zuck better than the real thing.

Or perhaps that's still the case.

The man who started #NBCFail on Twitter