The 10th Anniversary Of The Photo That Originated The Greatest Meme Of All Time: Crying Jordan
Michael Jordan is arguably the best basketball player of all time and one of the most revered sports figure in the history of the world. Leading the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships and basically winning every accolade habida y por haber, this true legend even forayed into baseball. His winning attitude has inspired generations of young boys and girls to be better, to jump higher, to grab life by the (basket)balls when facing difficulties. Jordan was also a master businessman: his Air Jordan brand, which he launched with Nike, has remained relevant and continues to be both a fashion statement and a sponsor for other sports icons such as boxers Manny Pacquiao and Gennady GGG Golovkin.
So it is kind of sad that such a pinche hero is remembered by many chavitos just because of a meme.
Just look at the jefe de jefes defying the laws of physics and doing what is perhaps the most remembered slam dunk of all time. He literally flew and made us believe that anything is possible. We don’t see him crying here, right? We can just watch this moment on loop over and over again.
Michael Jordan is also a true icon of 1990s popular culture.
Yes, this NBA icon is as important to 1990s pop culture as “Beverly Hills 90210,” Nirvana, MTV and the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. His movie “Space Jam!” has become a cult film that will even get a remake with LeBron James in the lead role. We can still remember all those tacky jackets with Taz embroidered on the back!
So this is the photo that started it all.
So the story goes like this. Jordan was introduced to the Basketball Hall of Fame on September 11, 2009. The date, of course, is highly significant not only in the United States but all over the world. From an early age Jordan, now 56, dreamt of becoming a professional athlete, so being recognized as one of the best ever was a big deal, and a humbling occasion. Stephan Savoia, the Associated Press photographer who took the iconic photograph, told Yahoo Sports: “So he comes up, he’s introduced. He walks up to the podium, and drops his head, and starts crying. Before he said a word. … As soon as he walked up and his head was down, we knew there was an emotion there that was probably honest in its origin. And it became apparent, once he started talking, that he was truly humbled”.
One snapshot forever linked the great Michael Jordan to the Internet’s popular lore.
The meme didn’t actually become popular until 2015, six years after the photo was taken. In 2014 the photo was photoshopped by users of the website Boxden.com. It then made its rounds on the Internet mill and spread like a virus on millions of computer and mobile screens. By 2016 it was perhaps the most recognizable meme in the world.
The Crying Jordan meme is probably the most postmodern thing ever.
Postmodern culture is materialized in mashups and remixes, where everything becomes a copy of a copy of a copy. The most postmodern filmmaker in American cinema, Quentin Tarantino, basically copies the work of other directors and gives it his personal touch. Well, with the Crying Jordan meme the real significance of the moment is lost, perhaps forever. The photo has lost all context. They are tears of joy, not sadness!
And of course, Crying Jordan is not the only sad meme out there.
Someone, please give Keanu a hug!
We all have reasons to cry, so one way or another you will relate to Jordan.
One of the reasons why some memes become popular while others just fall into oblivion is that we can all relate to them. Crying Jordan is an enigmatic image: it shows an icon, a symbol of Black masculinity and capitalist success in a very vulnerable moment. He is basically overcome by emotion, something that we never witnessed on the court, where he was the epitome of mindfulness, out-of-the-world skills, and concentration. In this photo, however, he is a crying, vulnerable middle-aged man.
We have all enjoyed seeing others cry (we hate to admit it, but we have, even if it was something super innocent). Sports fans are particularly happy when adversaries are defeated.
When Germany had a disastrous 2018 Soccer World Cup the internet had a blast mocking them. And yes, Crying Jordan became el dedo en la llaga of Germany’s first round elimination.
Obviously, Chicago Bulls fans have used their most beloved icon to mock their rivals, the Boston Celtics.
There are sports rivalries that extend through the years, and one of them is the Celtics vs Bulls rivalry. Every time Boston has a bad season or loses in the playoffs, Chicago fans are quick to get their hands on the most dangerous weapon in the meme arsenal: Crying Jordan Face.
“Mr. Jordan, I don’t feel so good…”
Seriously, we all did a Crying Jordan when certain superhero dissolves into thin air during the movie… Sorry, we have tried to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, but if you haven’t watched “Avengers: Infinity War” yet, well, it is sort of your fault.
Oh man, nothing like a good Crying Jordan face on a cute animal. This one is particularly touching given that we were already traumatized by Bambi and think that deer have like the saddest lives ever. Can someone hand us los Kleenex, porfis?
What fresh hell is this meme mashup?
This is just a bit too much… in the era of deep fake videos and photos, this gives us all the creeps. Ay, nanita!
OMG, this is as nightmare-inducing as it is addictive. The meme about memes, about memes.
Meme culture summarized in an image! Momo holding Crying Jordan’s hand while he is looking at Crying Lebron James, the new kid on the block. We will get pesadillas. Mis ojos, mis ojos se queman, ayuda!
This would honestly make an awesome laptop sticker.
Can we get one already? Imagine all the conversations you could strike up at a Starbucks by just sticking this on your laptop? We all are Crying Jordan at one point in our lives! Long live the king! And the meme almost became a feature in an Air Jordan shoe, as Marcus Jordan, Michael’s son, told NBC: “think the one thing most people didn’t know was that it was [almost] used in a recent shoe release, but didn’t make the final cut. The Jordan Brand shoes that just came out, the No L’s, the first sample featured the Crying Jordan face in the sock liner on the inside of the shoe. Obviously, it didn’t get approved. But the first sample definitely does have the Crying meme on the sock liner.” Wow, if that model ever becomes a reality it will surely be a bestseller.