The popular Crying Jordan internet meme has been around for years, but for whatever reason it has hit the big time in more recent times. You know the Crying Jordan fun has made it big when an old standard of journalism like the Wall Street Journal does a full report on it. On Thursday, that’s exactly what happened.
The Wall Street Journal does share a sentiment many have felt before with regards to the legacy of Jordan in the years to come, suggesting there will come a day when Jordan is more widely known for being the face of the Crying Jordan meme rather than being arguably the greatest basketball player in the sport’s history.
The meme is giving new relevance to the basketball star, particularly among millennials too young to remember his playing days. Robert Greer, a 24-year-old senior at Marshall University, said he never watched Mr. Jordan play basketball but frequently retweets the meme. Among his favorites: a crying-Jordaned Chip Kelly after his firing as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. “I think eventually people are going to recognize the crying Jordan face more than his actual legacy,” he said.
The image originates from Jordan’s Basketball hall of Fame induction speech in 2009. Filled with emotion, Jordan let the water works loose in an emotional show few had seen from Jordan outside of winning an NBA title in 1996, on Father’s Day. Jordan’s relationship with his father was a strong one and one that pushed Jordan to be as superior as he ended up being. Jordan showing that emotional reaction was a rarity from one of the sport’s greatest of all time, which was part of the reason his Hall of Fame speech was so touching. Of course, the Internet cares not for sentimental moments, as long as a good Photoshop opportunity exists.
It does feel as though we have reached the point of no return for the Crying Jordan meme. Not a single event can now seem to go by without the Crying Jordan making some sort of appearance, be it a regular season football game, an awards show or a presidential debate. All seem to be fair game for the Crying Jordan, and it is a fate nobody wants to be associated with.
Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus said he saw Blair Walsh get the crying Jordan treatment on Twitter a few weeks ago, after the Minnesota Vikings player missed an easy field-goal attempt that cost them a playoff victory. “It comes with the territory as a kicker,” McManus said, adding, “I have no plans on becoming the Jordan meme.”