Charlotte Hornets

I’ll take ‘can the Crying Jordan meme just go away now?’ for my sanity, please, Alex

Former Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards guard Michael Jordan, now the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, cries as he takes the podium during his enshrinement ceremony into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., Sept. 11, 2009.
Former Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards guard Michael Jordan, now the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, cries as he takes the podium during his enshrinement ceremony into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., Sept. 11, 2009. AP File Photo

The Crying Jordan meme seems inescapable now. An episode of “Jeopardy!” earlier this week, for better or worse, reflects its pervasive place in American culture.

Using an image of NBA legend Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time, to represent sadness, ineptitude and failure makes no sense, no matter what the Hornets’ record is.

Yet most of us get it. Perhaps that’s because the meme surfaces on social media whenever anything significant happens in sports. Or just whenever.

Since so much of what we see on social media doesn’t make sense, that seems fitting.

Further recognition of Crying Jordan’s broad reach as a meme came on “Jeopardy!” on Wednesday when the game show featured a category of answers called “Fond meme-ories.” Punny, huh?

And the $800 question, er, answer: “For some reason, a picture of this athlete crying after his NBA hall of fame induction in 2009 became meme-worthy in ’16.”

The game show predates the GOAT’s rise to greatness – the first episode aired in 1964 – and celebrity status as a North Carolina Tar Heels and Chicago Bulls star. Yet “Jeopardy!” has managed to stay relevant – at least for those people that still prefer game shows over cat videos – in part because you can’t win without keeping current on news and popular culture.

So, perhaps the idea that knowing “Who is Michael Jordan” earned $800 on “Jeopardy!” should come as no surprise. It’s been about eight years since Jordan, now the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, cried at his hall of fame induction, giving us the original pre-meme images. However, the Crying Jordan meme apparently hit its full stride in 2016. So, it’s still fresh.

So perhaps the question we’re all looking for is “What took you so long, Alex?” to the answer “What popular Internet meme seems long overdue for exposure on this game show?”

Sports historians, take note.

▪ A few notable Crying Jordan - themed tweets of late.

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