New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady’s dismal first half performance had the meme and GIF writers in overtime on Twitter. But the joke was on them: Brady engineered a miraculous comeback in overtime, and the Patriots WON.
That gave his tears a different meaning. “It was a tough battle,” Brady said, praising his team’s “mental toughness.” Asked if he felt redemption, Brady said it was “all positive,” and he wanted to go see his family.
It looked like it was going to be a loss.
As USA Today put it: “Tom Brady suffered a nightmarish first half in Super Bowl LI to put his dream of leading the New England Patriots to the fifth championship of his career in serious jeopardy.”
Jokes flew about Brady’s bad performance, although it was always possible he’d be able to turn it around. And, in fact, he did, pushing the game into overtime with a spectacular comeback – and putting the jokesters to shame. That turned the jokes on Twitter in a different direction: Against the Falcons and in awe of Brady.
Some still weren’t being nice, though.
With 13 minutes left in the third quarter, the score was Atlanta 21 and Patriots 3, which was not a score many people predicted. (Even President Donald Trump thought the Falcons would win by eight.) By the fourth quarter, though, the score had tightened to 28 Atlanta, 20 New England. Then, it tied.
Some of the earlier posts – after the horrid first half – brought to mind the German word “schadenfreude” – deriving pleasure from someone else’s pain because Brady didn’t look like a happy camper. At all. Those sacks…those sacks.
Crying Brady was competing with Crying Jordan in meme status.
Of course, Brady may have had a deeply emotional reason to be distracted. It was revealed that his mother, Galynn Brady, has been struggling with an illness for a year, and Brady broke down emotionally when speaking of his family in a pre Super Bowl press conference. Obviously, everyone with a heart wishes Brady and his family well.
On Twitter, Brady definitely had his supporters too. If anyone could pull a rabbit out of the hat, it was Brady, people felt. (They were right.)
However, perhaps it’s the nature of the game: Opinion was divided.
Some people decided to kick the man when he was (briefly) down.
Some rubbed it in, endlessly replaying photos or GIFs of angry Brady or pouting Brady.
Some media organizations had way too much fun with the GIFs.
However, it was Brady’s performance on the Super Bowl field that had people pulling out the jokes on Twitter. Some of them focused on Lady Gaga, the Super Bowl half-time performer.
Other jokes, GIFs, and memes focused on Brady’s Deflategate scandal.
Here’s a primer on that scandal. And here’s a round up of some of the Twitter jokes relating to Brady’s performance, especially in the game’s first half: