Explaining Christian McCaffrey and Trent Williams’ ‘Rob and Big’ nickname


MTV, once a powerhouse in entertainment with its blend of culture, entertainment, and reality television, has left an indelible legacy despite being years removed from its peak. However, the network made a resurgence during the 2023 NFL season, courtesy of a surprising reference to one of its iconic shows, “Rob and Big.”

The revival of interest in “Rob and Big” wasn’t triggered by Rob Dyrdek, the skateboarder-turned-television host, making headlines. Instead, it emerged due to a revelation made by a duo from the San Francisco 49ers: Christian McCaffrey and Trent Williams.

McCaffrey and Williams introduced themselves as the Niners’ version of “Rob and Big,” announcing it publicly after the team’s triumphant victory over the Cardinals a week before Christmas.


For those unacquainted with “Rob and Big,” the show was an MTV sensation during the mid- to late-2000s, featuring Rob Dyrdek, a skateboarder, and his security guard, Christopher “Big Black” Boykin. Their eccentric partnership captured audiences’ attention and became a cultural phenomenon.

Despite their differences in playing styles and positions, McCaffrey, the agile running back, and Williams, the powerful left tackle, form an exceptional RB-OL partnership in the NFL. The contrast in their roles gave rise to the nickname “Rob and Big,” drawing parallels to the dynamic between Dyrdek and “Big Black.”

Rob Dyrdek embraced the new moniker, acknowledging the comparison after McCaffrey shared a humorously edited image featuring themselves in the style of the show’s old advertisements.

The camaraderie between McCaffrey and Williams has deepened, evident even amid their intense pursuit for individual achievements in the NFL. McCaffrey’s endorsement of Williams for accolades like the MVP highlights their mutual respect and admiration.

Although “Rob and Big” concluded in 2008, and “Big Black” passed away in 2017, their pop culture legacy endures. It persists not just through MTV reruns but also via modern-day stars like McCaffrey and Williams, who are keeping the essence of the show alive with their camaraderie and friendship. The legacy of “Rob and Big” lives on, resonating through this contemporary NFL duo.