He's invaded our homes, gummed up our timelines and turned good, self-respecting people into fave-hunting monsters.
Thus is the yin and yang of Crying Jordan, the meme of 2016 and one of the most divisive internet...things...we as humans have encountered.
Some love him and retweet his twice-baked potato head out of raw instinct, while others just wish this man and his Cohiba-flavored tears would disappear from all electronic devices forever.
Either stance is fine, but we must come to agreement on the fact that Crying Jordan was the face of 2016 and its beleaguered citizenry—a legion of proud people who crawled through a seven-layer dip of misery over the past 12 months and still aren't home free yet.
In the spirit of closure, I've compiled a yearbook chronicling MJ and the forms he assumed over the last 12 months while becoming the international symbol of accepting life's increasingly numerous Ls.
This is your year in Crying Jordans.
The Arizona Cardinals commit Self-Jordan
The first big CJ of the year, and a harbinger of tears to come. The Cardinals social media team embraced the Jordan as their team fell 49-10 to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship game in January.
We should’ve known then that this would be the face of an entire capital year.
The Heir Apparent
Jordan’s sons broke their silence on the meme (a very 2016 sentence, here) and came forward in January to accept the reality of their situation early in the year.
The meme and their dad had become one—Finkle was Einhorn, Einhorn was Finkle. And Finkle was crying—and they wisely decided to embrace this strange alternate dimension their reality had become.
CJ Does the Super Bowl
After watching his Carolina Panthers fall to the Broncos after a deceptively non-competitive loss at Super Bowl 50, Steph Curry turned the business end of the CJ Cannon on himself. It was one of the most public and horrifying examples of a meme that was still loosening up in the bullpen.
Michigan loses to Middle Tennessee State
Sometime around Spring 2016, the Crying Jordan meme saw a distinct rise in overall quality and craftsmanship.
The professionals had moved in, and the strain became tighter, more virulent. Instead of petering out, the Jordans became more creative. The bar had been raised.
One of several mini, Jord-pocalypses of 2016, Villanova’s last-second win over UNC in the NCAA championship game is considered by some Jordologists as the last swell of the meme’s golden age.
All agree that the above Inception Jordan by Deadspin’s Timothy Burke is very good and important in its cultural impact.
Jordan Spieth’ Masters struggle, as seen from above
Jordan Spieth’s quadruple bogey on No. 12 at Augusta cost the young pro a shot at his second green jacket, but what he lost in glory, the Internet more than made up for with creativity.
My personal favorite is this offering by Jimmy Donofrio, which should be insured and put behind museum-quality glass.
The Crying Jordan CrazyWashed drop in select stores
The Crying Man made its first inroads into niche Internet weirdo fashion in April with the debut of Crying Jordan sneakers. There’s a website called “CryingKicks.com” dedicated solely to this pair of shoes. Technology is amazing.
In the hours before the 2016 NFL Draft, video of former Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil ripping a gas mask bong was tweeted from Tunsil’s Twitter account—an apparent and successful attempt by someone to sabotage his draft stock at the final hour.
Half the Internet tried to figure just who would do such a thing to a young man on the precipice of his dream. The other half finished a Mountain Dew and made the above image.
Ja Rule: What Would I Be Without My Mem-aysss
In May, Ja Rule rose from his Sean Jean cryo chamber and logged onto Twitter to explain what’s really good to these kids using the MJ head and laughing at Michael Jordan’s expense.
Rule’s knowledge bomb: Mike gets a dollar every time you post his face. So laugh if you want, but remember, kids: Cash Rules Everything Around Meme, get the favorites, dollar dollar tweet, y’all.
(Ja Rule was in no way right about anything here at all).
ScHoolboy Q’s album art fakeout
The Los Angeles rapper nearly melted an entire social medium back in June when he tweeted out a picture of a blank Crying Jordan face as the supposed artwork of his upcoming album Blank Face LP.
The tweet turned out to be a joke, and I believe I speak for all of us when I say the culture suffered from this ruse.
Tears of a Blown Lead
The Warriors losing to Cleveland in the NBA Finals gave birth to the "3-1 Lead” meme, which put MJ on the backburner for a month or two as the go-to sports internet joke of the late summer/fall.
The number of KD/Russ Crying Jordans that were born and diffused through the NBA Twitter diaspora after Durant signed with the Golden State has led Internet historians to question whether or not they should be considered their own phylum of Jordauna.
Malawian newspaper runs Crying Jordan in serious article
Back in July, a newspaper in the east African nation of Malawi ran a story on Michael Jordan’s call for a stop to the violence that embroiled America during the summer months of 2016.
It was a serious story on a serious subject matter, and the paper probably thought it had nailed it when they stumbled upon a picture of a visibly distraught Michael Jordan in the Associated Press database. But where it saw an overcome sports icon, others saw the universal flag of life's closing speed.
Michael Phelps makes Chad Le Clos Chad Le Cry
NC senator deploys Crying Jordan attack campaign
Back in July, the NBA decided to move the 2017 All-Star game out of North Carolina in response to the state’s pending legislature regarding gender and bathroom usage.
It was a groundbreaking moment for a major American sports league, and it was also a first for North Carolina senator Jeff Jackson, who ostensibly became the first U.S. politician to employ Crying Jordan in the political sphere.
President Obama: ‘Michael Jordan is more than an internet meme'
Back in November, Barack Obama awarded Michael Jordan the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a ceremony at the White House—a ceremony that included the president clarifying that the man receiving this medal is much more than just an image macro on your timeline.
It's Australian for Tears
The Archangel of Foot Surgeries Past and Present continued its circuit of the Philadelphia metro area before the start of the 2016 NBA season, eventually deciding to go with the most straightforward approach and take Ben Simmons, sidelining the 76ers' first-overall draft pick for the first half of the season with a broken foot.
When Gloves Cry
The difference between a World Series appearance for the Giants and the Cubs winning the 2016 NLDS and advancing to their first championship in over a century may have come down to an extra few inches of advertising on the outfield wall at AT&T Park.
It was a thin margin, to be sure, and one Twitter was only to happy to ornament in the spirit of the moment.
The Thunder-Warriors rivalry fans hoped for after KD’s move did not get off to an auspicious start, with Durant dropping 39 points on his former team when they met for the first time in early November. Not even Russ’ pregame photographer jacket, though mighty, could help OKC.
Jon Jones: The Man in the Crying Mask
Crying Jordan comes for all of us, and the only thing you can control is how you handle it when your card is pulled. You can fight the Jordan, and lose. Or you can embrace the tears and wear them like a badge.
Jon Jones went with the latter approach in November after receiving a one-year suspension from the UFC for a failed drug test, placing his L on the mantle and adorning his profile with its very own MJ. And he’s kept it that way.
Isiah Thomas celebrates IU win with CJ hoist
An Indiana basketball alum and longtime rival of Michael Jordan, Isiah Thomas cashed in on an all-round personal win after watching his Hoosiers take down UNC in Bloomington during the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Steelers linebacker Vince Williams dropped a well-earned CJ on Bengals running back Jeremy Hill in December after Hill’s failed attempt to tear up a terrible towel in the end zone after a touchdown against Pittsburgh.
The Bengals went on to lose the game, and Williams went on to troll righteously.
Andre Drummond: appreciator of Crying Jordan couture