Aaron Rodgers continues to laugh about becoming an instant meme vs. the Arizona Cardinals, and he's thankful 'it's not crying Jordan'
Five days later, Aaron Rodgers is still smiling over the reactions and memes of him that came out of Thursday night's game against the Arizona Cardinals.
The fact that he threw for a touchdown on the play probably increased his joy, and that the Packers held on to defeat the Cardinals in a dramatic conclusion, thanks to an interception from Rasul Douglas.
But that camera shot of Rodgers lying on the ground after Cardinals defensive end Jordan Phillips drove him into the turf in the third quarter is what had everyone on the internet talking.
On Tuesday during his weekly appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show," Rodgers reiterated what he said in his postgame news conference.
"The internet is undefeated," Rodgers said again. "It really is. It’s not the crying Jordan meme, thankfully, I guess."
Rodgers was referencing the famous "crying image" of Michael Jordan in which the NBA legend has a tear coming down his face at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2009. Since then, people often put Jordan's crying face on other images to mock athletes or others on social media in jest.
A.J. Hawk, a co-host on the show, says he's confident Rodgers' meme will live on.
"This one has legs," Hawk said. "I think this may carry on years down the road. This will pop up in situations but it's a good one. It’s all positive for you."
So how did it happen?
Rodgers said he decided to take the pass on a run, pass option to Randall Cobb in the corner of the end zone inside the Cardinals 5-yard line early in the third quarter.
He said he "never saw" Philips. Rodgers was slammed into the ground just beyond the 10-yard line moments after making his pass. A penalty was called on the play.
"I was kind of staring down my throw as it was in the air," Rodgers said. "Even as you get rocked sometimes you still try to see what happened."
Then the camera got his reaction, which depicted Rodgers on the ground with his mouth and eyes wide open and his helmet slid up and chinstrap now positioned under his eyes and over his nose.
"I don’t wear the tightest helmet," Rodgers said. "I wear that real old-school chinstrap that I saw (Brett Favre) Farvey wear when I was a young player. I thought it was awesome. I get a lot of crap for it, not just from my teammates. From A.J. over the years, from some of the training staff. But I still hold onto it. Every now and then that thing slides up. Or I've had plays where I don't even button (the chinstrap), just I forget about, still kind of attached to the side of my helmet."
The moment Rodgers went into the locker room after the game, he heard from wide receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard — two players who weren't in Arizona due to COVID protocols — on FaceTime and then his phone was blowing up with the memes.
"It was so funny," Rodgers said.
The Packers' plane had some mechanical issues before taking off for home after the game, Rodgers said. The team then went back on the bus for more than an hour.
At that time, everyone was showing him what others were saying online.
"That’s when the memes were going crazy," Rodgers said.
Including from his teammates.
"Dave (Bakhtiari) was crafting his meme to put out there," Rodgers said, referencing Bakhtiari's multiple social media posts that night. "That’s basically what took up the hour and 15 minutes on the bus, laughing at these memes."
Rodgers, himself, shared some of the memes on his social media accounts and it's now his Twitter background with a photoshopped image with red lasers coming out of his eyes.
"I saw some even less appropriate ones that were hilarious, so kudos to the people out there with the time to make those memes because it gave myself and my teammates a lot of laughs," Rodgers said.