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I don’t know much about sports, but I know this: People seem to take it pretty hard when their team loses.
So I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that basketball legend Michael Jordan was less than thrilled when his alma mater, the University of North Carolina, lost the NCAA championship to Villanova University on Monday night by the margin of a buzzer-beating three-pointer.
Jordan was far from the only Tar Heels fan shocked and dismayed by this upset. But he is the only one whose crying face has become a meme that represents this exact feeling. So guess what happened next.
It’s incredible that this popular meme has waited all this time to reveal its true and ultimate purpose.
To his credit, Jordan managed not to cry—he only does that when he’s being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. And perhaps that stoicism, combined with the knowledge that the meme will never be more applicable than it was in this circumstance, is what motivated several sportswriters to urge the ongoing joke’s retirement.
But no misguided thinkpiece, however timely, can stop a viral juggernaut. Memes don’t retire—they only fade away.
everytime the crying Jordan meme is used a white person somewhere crafts a think piece about why it should be over
— wayne Ass (@tweet_faver) April 5, 2016
“It’s time everyone stops using this thing, because I am sick of it. Also, stop being mean to the world’s most competitive millionaire”
— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) April 5, 2016
It’s time to retire articles that suggest we retire the Crying Jordan meme. Column:
— rich (@rich_roberts) April 5, 2016
So the next time you find yourself arguing that a virtually unlimited source of Internet humor is bad and should go away, stop for a second and ask yourself: Is this really worth crying over?
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'