The Biggest Human Memes in Sports

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2013

The Biggest Human Memes in Sports

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    Over the past couple of years, memes have become synonymous with a number of different things related to sports and pop culture.

    Usually taking the form of a satirical tone, fans find hilarious pictures of famous people and slap some funny—or mockery—saying across their faces.

    When it comes to memes in sports, there are some usual suspects—and these are the most popular athletes for people to poke a little fun at.

Philip Rivers

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    Has there ever been a more perfect picture to make a meme out of than this one of Rivers?

    I get that Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has had a tough go at it the past few seasons, but after seeing some of the memes people make of him, you'd think he was the worst player in the history of the NFL.

    Of course, with Rivers being one of the biggest trash-talkers in sports doesn't help his likability, which might have something to do with his mug showing up on so many different memes.

Alex Rodriguez

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    He's one of the most hated athletes in America, so it shouldn't be much of a shock as to why sports fans just love to crap on Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

    Whether poking fun at his love for himself—remember the Details magazine photos—his struggles over the past few seasons, his pathetic playoff performances or the obvious, his PED use, A-Rod gets injected onto a meme more frequently than...well, you probably know where I'm going with that.

J.R. Smith

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    For a guy who has only averaged 13.2 points per game over the course of his career, J.R. Smith sure does get a hell of a lot of attention.

    Some of that might be brought on himself—as he did earlier this year by posting a meme himself—but fans are pretty quick to recognize him for whatever reason.

    It might have something to do with Smith's on-court antics, his penchant to shoot as much as possible and his, now famous, yearbook quote, though I might just be jumping to conclusions.

Bryce Harper

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    As one of baseball's best young stars, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is a guy who most fans either really love or just love to hate.

    It might have something to do with his feeling a little more entitled than most players—even though he's only played 257 career games—or that he's a huge bro, and definitely acts the part.

    His response to a reporter's question in 2012 created one of the best athlete quotes ever, so naturally, fans played this up in everything they could.

Mark Sanchez

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    There are a variety of reasons why fans might make popular memes of current Jets backup quarterback Mark Sanchez.

    One would be because he's struggled with interceptions the past few years.

    Another might be because he's failed to live up to the hype as a franchise quarterback—even after being given multiple chances.

    And the last would be, well, come on—the butt fumble.

Tony Romo

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    Tony Romo was handed one of the richest contracts ever for an NFL player just a few months ago. But while he's financially secure for the rest of his life, he still isn't safe from the memes fans make of him.

    Romo has just one career playoff win—and is 0-3 in games when a postseason berth is on the line—so you'd imagine why a guy who can potentially earn $108 million is a target for never actually being close to a Super Bowl ring.

Kobe Bryant

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    He's one of the most successful players in NBA history, but Lakers guard Kobe Bryant still gets treated like a punk sometimes by fans.

    Haters gonna hate, so let the people who talk crap about Kobe do it—chances are Bryant will hear them and just elevate his game even more.

    Kobe's far from perfect, so fans use some of his slip-ups to take a shot at him.

    Whatever, dude has five titles—even if he is a ball hog.

Eli Manning

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    Poor Eli Manning.

    Not only do people seem to forget that he has more Super Bowl wins than older brother Peyton, but he doesn't even come close to getting the respect his record-breaking bro gets.

    I guess the noogies never stop for a younger sibling—Eli's just come in the form of memes nowadays.

    It doesn't help that the youngest Manning plays in New York and has struggled this season.

JaVale McGee

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    If there's one word to describe Nuggets big man JaVale McGee, it's entertaining.

    Whether it's throwing down a sick dunk during a game, doing his best Mario Kart impersonation or just getting terrorized for some of the interesting decisions he makes on the basketball court, McGee has plenty for fans to poke at.

    That's probably why he's so popular when it comes to creating memes.

Manny Pacquiao

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    Although legendary boxer Manny Pacquiao hasn't been in the news much lately—besides trying to still organize a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.—he earned his share of meme greatness late last year after being knocked out in his bout with Juan Manuel Marquez.

    Seriously, the Internet blew up seconds after Pacquiao was laying on the canvas, with some clever memes to capture the moment.

Manti Te'o

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    We all know exactly why current Chargers linebacker Manti Te'o has found himself as one of the most disliked athletes on the planet these days—because of his "relationship" status.

    When people are still making fun of a guy 10 months later by wearing Halloween costumes of the whole debacle, it's safe to say he's an easy target.

    Te'o will never be able to live that down.

LeBron James

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    LeBron James is the most popular, polarizing athlete in the world, so it only makes sense for him to pop up on memes pretty much every single day.

    A few years ago, the whole, "LeBron doesn't have a ring" thing was a little worn out. But now that he's won back-to-back titles, James is seeing his face in things that take a shot at his receding hairline—among other things.

    Love him or hate him, James will continue to show up in these things.

Chris Bosh

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    Look, Heat forward Chris Bosh kind of looks like a dinosaur—and his reactions are eerily similar to that of a velociraptor from the movie Jurassic Park.

    Thanks to that, there are a ton of fans who have a lot of fun with it—even if former MLB player Carl Everett didn't think dinosaurs ever existed.

    I can't help but laugh at the humor some people have at Bosh's expense.

Jay Cutler

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    Like others on this list, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler found himself as one of the most disliked NFL players again this year.

    He's known for being snarky, a bit bullheaded and a pretty big jerk, but Cutler's claim to meme fame began with the whole "Smokin' Jay Cutler" thing—and I have to say, it's genius—especially since Cutler himself poked a little fun at the whole thing.

    See? He might not be as big of a jerk as we all think!

McKayla Maroney

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    When a women's gymnastics star turns the Internet upside down with a simple reaction, there's no one who even comes close to overtaking meme popularity.

    McKayla Maroney being unimpressed was the most famous meme of 2012, and because of it, helped her meet a ton of different people who were sharing her silver medal-winning reaction.

    Maroney might not be impressed with landing the top spot here, but it's kind of expected considering that's just what she does.

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