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The greatest sports memes of all time

The tension, the drama, the raw emotion. The sports world has always been the perfect meme factory. Whether its Michael Jordan crying or Yao Ming laughing, athletes extreme reactions provide excellent response images to almost every online situation. There are far too many sports memes to list even a tenth of them here, but below are some of our favorites. Enjoy the tragedy and triumph (but mainly tragedy) of the best sports memes on the internet.

The 10 best sports memes on the internet

1) Crying Michael Jordan

Know Your Meme

Michael Jordan lost it (more than once) during his 2009 Basketball Hall of Fame acceptance speech. For some reason, the dying-to-be-memed image sat around until 2012, when it showed up on the site Memecrunch with the caption, Why did I buy the Bobcats? Its a reference to the 2012Charlotte Bobcats; Jordan owned the team at the time, and they still hold the worst record of any team in NBA history.

memecrunch

The meme took off from there, spawning multiple photoshop remixes.

Know Your Meme

Know Your Meme

Know Your Meme

President Obama even referenced the meme when awarding Jordan the medal of freedom. That wouldnt be the last time Obama got directly involved with a meme.

2) McKayla Maroney is not impressed

Bryan Snyder/Know Your Meme

Any athlete driven enough to make it to the Olympics didnt get there by settling for being second best. Still, at the end of the competition, only one person or team can wear the gold medal, often leaving even silver and bronze medalists disappointed.

WhenMcKayla Maroney of the United States completed a practically perfect vault her first time up, she was poised to win the competition. But when she fell backward while trying to land her next attempt, Maroney ended up in second place. Later, while standing on the podium, the look on her face, as captured byBrian Snyder for Reuters, said it all.

Within a few days, there was a Tumblrdevoted to Maroney being unimpressed by things, similar to the earlier Spock Is Not Impressed blog that started in 2011.

mckayla is not impressed/Tumblr

mckayla is not impressed/Tumblr

mckayla is not impressed/Tumblr

Maroney even recreated her famous face when she met Barack Obama at the White House, and the president was happy to play along.

mckayla is not impressed/Tumblr

3)Justin Timberlake and the Halftime Selfie Kid

Know Your Meme

OK, so this one is only tangentially a sports meme, but it was definitely a big enough deal to make the list. During his halftime show at Super Bowl 52, Justin Timberlake went into the audience during his performance ofCant Stop the Feeling, and stood next to a 13-year-old boy named Ryan McKenna. Ryan attempted to take a selfie with Timberlake but was having some trouble, leading people to believe the kid was ignoring Timberlake in favor of his phone. The jokes practically wrote themselves.

Twitter

Twitter

Twitter

McKenna ended up being interviewed on Good Morning America, where he repeatedly referred to the whole thing as crazy.

4) DeflateGate

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On Jan. 18, 2015, the New England Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts 47-7 in the AFC championship game to advance to Superbowl XLIX. One day later, Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR ran an article entitled, Source says NFL investigating if Patriots deflated footballs in DeflateGate scandal.

The NFL launched a full investigation and eventually determined that it was more probable than not that the Patriots participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls after the balls were examined by the referee. It cost the squad their fourth-round draft pick, $1 million, and quarterback Tom Bradywho destroyed his cell phone after officials requested itwas suspended for four games.

The #Deflategate hashtag soon began trending on Twitter, and the jokes came pouring in.

Twitter

Twitter

Tom Bradys sullen-looking courtroom sketch even became a meme of its own.

Know Your Meme

Know Your Meme

Know Your Meme

The Deflategate hashtag also had a bit of a comeback earlier this year when Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged with soliciting prostitution.

5)Angry Michael Phelps

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At the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, NBC captured Olympic Simmer Michael Phelps, well, psyching himself up or something, while listening to music before the200-meters butterfly semifinals.

Phelps seemed so angry and intense that his face instantly became a meme.

Twitter

Twitter

Some of which included his opponentChad le Clos of South Africa.

If youre wondering what got Phleps so laser-focused, at that years Video Music Awards, he revealed that he was listening to the songStick Talk by Future.

Phelps actually ended up losing that particular race, which was the 100-meter butterfly.Joseph Schooling of Singapore took home the gold with an Olympic record time of 50.39 seconds. Amazingly enough, Phelps, le Clos, and Lszl Cseh
of Hungry all ended up tying for second with a time of 51.14.

Phelps, however, still holds the world record time at 49.82 seconds. He also has more Olympic gold medals than any other athlete in history, so if youre looking to get pumped up for your next swim, Stick Talk might not be a bad choice.

6) Confused Nick Young

Cassy Athena/YouTube

In 2014, professional basketball player Nick Young appeared on the YouTube show Thru the Lens. At one point during the show, Youngs mother was describing him as a young boy and said, he was a clown then. This promoted a confused look from Young and the producers chose to encircle his face with question marks, giving birth to what would become one of the biggest memes of 2015.

It has since become the go-to meme to express confusion.

Instagram

Young found the meme pretty amusing when a fan confronted him about it during a game.

7)Manti Teos Fake Girlfriend Hoax

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Everybody loves a good inspirational sports story, and Manti Teo, who at the time was a linebacker for the University of Notre Dame, had a whopper. On Sept. 12, 2012, both his grandmother and his girlfriend,Lennay Kekua, supposedly died within six hours of each other of different illnesses. Then, on the day of his Kekuas funeral, Teo turned in a stellar performance against Michigan State. He claimed his dying girlfriend had made him promise that her death would not keep him from playing a game. That day, Te0 had 12 tackles, recovered a fumble, and broke up two passes, leading to a 20-3 upset for Norte Dame. It was the kind of story that gets national attention. It was also a total fabrication.

On Jan. 16, 2013, Deadspin published an article entitled, Manti Teos Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax. The story claimed that not only was Kekua not dead, she never even existed. There was no record of her death, no record of her as a Standford student, and the picture of her, shown so many times on television, was from a social media account of a woman whod never met Teo.

Notre Dame and Teo claimed that the player had been the victim of a cruel hoax and the relationship had been carried out entirely online and over the phone, but people werent buying it. It soon became a meme and the same day that the Deadspin article ran, a Tumblr called #Teoing, where men pretended to stand with non-existent girlfriends, was launched.

https://teoing.tumblr.com/post/41511532203

https://teoing.tumblr.com/post/42295137075/feels-like-a-pudding-balloon

https://teoing.tumblr.com/post/43118852996/a-little-tribute-to-teoing-happy-valentines

Maxim magazine jumped on board, adding the fictitious girlfriend to their Hot 100 list at number 69. The picture showed an empty swimsuit hovering in midair.

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8) The Neymar Flop

Luis Melchor/Twitter

Neymar da Silva Santos Jnior is a brilliant Brazillian soccer play, but as great as he may be, he will forever be known for his over-the-top overreactions, rather than his playing ability.

Neymar was already considered an infamous flop artist going into the World Cup match between Brazil and Mexico. At one point during the match, Miguel Layun of Mexico accidentally (or possibly purposely) stepped on Neymars ankle. It certainly looked like it could have hurt, but Neymar proceeded to writhe around on the ground as if he was being boiled in oil, and the world collectively rolled its eyes. Soon people found his other outrageous flops and a meme was born.

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