Well before Sunday’s NFC championship game ended, even the Cardinals could see the ugliness to come. No, not the Arizona players, although they couldn’t have been very optimistic about coming back from a 34-7 deficit to start the fourth quarter, but the team’s Twitter account.
With the Carolina Panthers driving for a touchdown that would make the score 42-15, en route to a dominating, 49-15 win, @AZCardinals acknowledged the inevitable. Knowing that a torrent of “Crying Michael Jordan” memes were right around the corner, the team itself tweeted out the ubiquitous image.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) January 25, 2016
The image actually made perfect sense for the Cardinals’ result Sunday, because it had been promoting a #BeRedSeeRed Internet campaign during the playoffs. And what epitomizes eyes colorfully awash in emotion than Crying Jordan?
Of course, even without that hashtag, Arizona was a lock to get targeted by trolls. After all, the Patriots’ loss in the AFC championship game just hours earlier had resulted in hordes of posts along these lines:
— Justin Hardie (@OrangeHardie) January 24, 2016
— Josh Sánchez (@jnsanchez) January 24, 2016
So give the Cardinals’ Twitter account credit for its willingness to troll itself. But did that actually stop others from embellishing on the theme? Of course not.
Interestingly, though, Actual Michael Jordan was in attendance at the game. And in contrast to the meme, His Airness, a North Carolina native and owner of another sports franchise in Charlotte, was hardly shedding tears over the result.