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Is It Time for Crying Jordan to Retire?

For those of you who tuned into the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship game last night, you were treated to the best that 21st century sports has to offer: an exhilarating, back-and-forth contest with an unbelievable ending–and a brand new collection of the best Crying Jordan memes.

Over the last year, a picture of Jordan’s face (taken at his 2009 Basketball Hall of Fame speech) has circulated the Twitter-verse and has been overlaid into just about every image from sports that requires a visual representation of heartbreak. In basketball, MJ has long been considered the G.O.AT (Greatest of All Time)–and in the world of memes, his crying face has reached a similar status.

As soon as MJ was spotted entering the stadium, the Twitter-verse braced itself for what was surely going to be the pinnacle of Crying Jordan memes if North Carolina (Jordan’s alma mater) lost. Sure enough, as soon as Kris Jenkins’ game-winning buzzer-beater went down, the internet broke loose:





Even Villanova’s “Piccolo girl” from last year got in on the action:


My personal favorite:


And the one that takes the cake and brings this entire phenomenon full circle:



 

Time to Retire?

The irony of yesterday’s Crying Jordan hoopla was that Jordan’s actual reaction to the play was nothing like the viral image at all. In fact, Jordan looked more impressed than anything in the clip below:


Which now begs the question…is it time for Crying Jordan to retire? Now that we have eclipsed the most saturated period in meme history, will we ever come across another opportunity like this?




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Is it time to put Jordan’s meme to rest? Let’s consider the arguments for both sides:
 

Yes, it’s time to retire.

  • If Michael Jordan himself didn’t cry after watching his beloved alma mater fall in heart-breaking fashion, can the meme continue to represent the same emotion it has until now?
  • After witnessing the most saturated period of “meme-ing” in history, isn’t time for Jordan’s meme to go out on top? Furthermore, will we ever come across another set of circumstances like this? (Michael Jordan on a nationally televised broadcast watching his Alma mater lose the national championship game in heart-wrenching fashion.)
  • I’m going to go out on a limb and say that many people are probably sick of seeing Crying Jordan by now. A year of existence is a lifetime in Internet age, and no sports event has gone by where we haven’t seen MJ’s face already. It’s possible that this meme has been overused and outplayed.


No, keep it going!

  • Let’s face it, even a year later, the memes and gifs produced last night still provided plenty of laughs, so why should we stop a good thing? I definitely wouldn’t advocate taking down anything that spawns creativity on social media.
  • Are there any better alternatives to the Crying Jordan meme? I think a reason for this long-lasting “virality” is that we haven’t seen any images that better encompass disappointment and anguish quite like MJ does.
  • In some respects, this meme is always going to be contextually relevant. Live sports occur year round. Someone will always lose, and we will always need a way to react.

I’m not sure that I even know what side I stand on yet, but consider this — Michael Jordan owns the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets who’ve made it to the playoffs this year. The G.O.A.T. will obviously be in attendance and in front of a national audience. Is it possible that Crying Jordan can make one last hoorah should things not work out for the Hornets? Or, have we seen the last of the GOAT of memes?

Tweet us your thoughts, and tell us what you think it takes for memes to stick @Zoomph!

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