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During the NFL season, every Sunday is an opportunity. An opportunity for something awesome/terrible/hilarious to happen on a football field, something that immediately can become a certifiable meme. Football is memes, as the old saying goes.
Sometimes, though, they show up when you least expect them.
For instance, five days into the 2017 NFL season, a meme emerged from the one of the unlikeliest of places. Most sideline reporters don’t provide a plethora of pertinent information when they’re called to speak during a broadcast. But then we were introduced to Sergio Dipp, who nervously flubbed his Monday Night Football debut, leading to these internet gems (including one from Sergio).
Sergio Dipp was the first great NFL meme of 2017. Here are others from years past.
The all-time best football memes
1) Manning Face
Peyton Manning, formerly of the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos is one of the best quarterbacks of all time. His kid brother, Eli Manning of the New York Giants, has won two Super Bowls. But they’re siblings, and man, do they both display similar sourpuss faces when a game is about to be lost.
Slow-motion Manning Face!!! pic.twitter.com/FoMrJas2Hl— Josh Katzowitz (@joshkatzowitz) September 19, 2017
Peyton also has a few good ones.
2) Super Bowl LI
The 2016 season Super Bowl was one of the most improbable in history, as the Falcons blew a 25-point lead in the final 17 minutes of regulation and allowed the Patriots to squeak out a 34-28 victory. The memes were immediate.
HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES, ROGER? pic.twitter.com/5O3ofMK5zm— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) February 6, 2017
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3) Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl screwup
This wasn’t quite as heartbreaking as the Falcons’ colossal debacle that would occur two years later, but the Seahawks drew plenty of criticism for opting to throw for the winning touchdown vs. the Patriots with seconds left instead of trying to run the ball. The play called by coach Pete Carroll failed, and New England won Super Bowl XLIX. Which immediately led to these.
4) David Johnson wanted
This could apply to any top player in the league, but as always: Do NOT get injured in the first week of the season if you’re one of the league’s best running backs.
Here was the genesis.
And then this happened.
Basically made in response to the Tebowing phenomenon—which is OK since Tebowing basically took over for planking—this photo shows Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reacting to his team’s Super Bowl loss in 2012. The internet went wild over it.
7) Brady courtroom sketch
Brady is one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, and he’s also mastered the social media game. But he couldn’t contain the internet’s glee when a courtroom artist sketched him during a #Deflategate hearing in 2015.
Here’s what the sketch looked like.
And the memes that came along with it.
Tom Brady courtroom sketch is the only meme that matters today. Keep it up, Internet. pic.twitter.com/wcBlcvzmnY— Patrick Hedlund (@patrickhedlund) August 12, 2015
DeflateGate is turning into a real thriller pic.twitter.com/KmY3Xv2Bej— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) August 12, 2015
And here's the sketch of Brady arriving in court. pic.twitter.com/b3I2mr68QI— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) August 12, 2015
This meme was only brief. It features Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco on the turf after throwing an interception returned for a touchdown by the opponent.
In the next offseason, though, Flacco signed a contract worth $120.6 million, meaning the meme needed to be updated.
All of this begs another meme question: Is Joe Flacco elite?
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9) Marshawn Lynch and Skittles
Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch loves to eat Skittles. Once the world discovered that, the internet couldn’t stop tasting the rainbow.
Marshawn Lynch Vision: pic.twitter.com/p1i3fMuK— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) January 10, 2013
Get you a girl that loves you like Marshawn Lynch loves skittles! pic.twitter.com/woC0YR6Xoz— Greyson Stuhr (@greyson_stuhr) April 28, 2017
10) The Lions are eternally bad
The team from Detroit can’t stop getting roasted.
11) The Browns are eternally worse
The Lions have nothing on the ineptitude of the team from Cleveland.
Worried Browns fans right now... pic.twitter.com/eSBwZCB83G— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeagueTSL) April 27, 2017
Wrong pic guys. The Browns Draft Room looks more like this... pic.twitter.com/pJ1SpPQpAa— Ryan Legge (@Terror10_WMC) April 27, 2017
And what happens when the Browns win?
12) A Gronking To Remember
You probably know Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, the Gronkiest Gronk to ever Gronk across the world. In 2014, a woman named Lacey Noonan wrote an erotic ebook about Gronkowski called, A Gronking To Remember. It was three years ago, but people can’t stop talking about the book.
Passed Gronk in JetBlue terminal at BOS and for the first time in my life I regret not having a copy of A Gronking To Remember.— Danielle (@uncorkeddc) May 11, 2017
This season will be a Gronking to Remember pic.twitter.com/mw1FYdUpyB— The Queen (@TheQueenofFF) August 26, 2017
A Gronking to Remember— Hypocrite (@cliftonsutters) August 10, 2017
A Gronking to Remember 2
A Gronking to Remember 3
A Gronking to Remember 4
13) The Dildo incident
This was probably the greatest moment ever to occur during a Bills game. Some heroic soul threw a dildo on the field in October 2016. The resulting meme penetrated our souls.
BREAKING: The dildo was intended for Tom Brady, not Chris Hogan: pic.twitter.com/w6Fm2nFYl2— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) October 31, 2016
Giants should sign the Bills dildo to play CB instead of Trevin Wade, at least receivers might slip on the dildo— Tyler J (@TJPK21) January 9, 2017
I'm assuming "full Bills Fan Gear" includes tables, a bottle of Fireball and a dildo. https://t.co/UHylga8PaW— TromaPicturesPresnts (@DukeOfAwesome) January 2, 2017
Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.