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.
If UNC loses and Jordan cries, the Internet will break. pic.twitter.com/b0W05UXMLU— Pick Six Previews (@PickSixPreviews) April 5, 2016
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.
UNC fans right now pic.twitter.com/yT3Hyjs8uh— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 5, 2016
CRYING JORDAN MEME HAS OFFICIALLY TAKEN OFF FROM THE FREE THROW LINE pic.twitter.com/A3bU7rkeXY— Rico Ripoly (@RicoRipoly) April 5, 2016
The game-winning, Jordan-crying shot. pic.twitter.com/2ZboAZwkm6— Eric O. (@eorvieto) April 5, 2016
Levitate, levitate, levitate, levitate, levitate pic.twitter.com/nHBCkPmBmI— Rico Ripoly (@RicoRipoly) April 5, 2016
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.
probably two dozen people shopping crying jordan over the author's photo right now https://t.co/bHNkN1vrSa— ☕netw3rk (@netw3rk) April 5, 2016
is it just me or are like……..99% of the "retire the crying Jordan meme" people white folks? https://t.co/fi6nYAOrxg— Bayarea_chick (@bayareachick1) 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?