“I Wanna Be Like Mike” — A Totally Different Approach

If you don’t know who Michael Jordan is by now, you probably are just not very aware of current events and you were likely living under a rock or 800 feet underground since the 1980s.

He played basketball.  Lots of basketball.  Was a member of the United States basketball team in the Olympics (otherwise known as the “Dream Team”) and won championships with the Chicago Bulls.  Also has a brand of overpriced and overrated sneakers still popular today.

Many people wanted to be like Mike by emulating what he did on the basketball court.  Me?  Nah, despite my height, I had no aspirations to be like Mike; I was and still am a horrible basketball player with no skills whatsoever.  Call on me to watch a game, that’s it.

However, rather than emulate Mike’s basketball abilities, I took to other approaches.  Thanks to the internet, I got to learn a lot more about “His Airness,” such as the fact he once wore a different number in a game because his jersey was stolen:

Michael Jordan wearing number 12

Yeah, Jordan can’t believe it either.

I also had seen some other pictures of him—pictures that were either JPGs or GIFs—that depicted him in different ways.  One such depiction was this:

Michael Jordan shaking his head

I remember laughing quite loudly after seeing this.  I first saw it in a thread on an online messageboard; the GIF was used in a response to someone who had made some asinine point (well, OBVIOUSLY).

I saved the image onto my computer and told my friends about it, of course.  One such friend of mine is Isaac, who finds humor in almost everything, especially if it comes at someone’s expense.  I show him the GIF and we both have a laugh.  We both ended up using this GIF on forums we both frequented; Isaac took it up a notch (no Emeril) by invoking the Michael Jordan GIF numerous times in succession within the same post.

But we soon had a first world problem: How do we acknowledge the GIF in our online conversations?  Linking it was the easiest thing to do, but one of us still had to click it.  So, the next best thing was conceived.


A minute, acute meme was born.  It was perfect: one of us did not need to link it; we could just say it outright and KNOW exactly what we meant.

/cue the NY Times writing about the power of inside jokes

This wasn’t limited to Michael Jordan GIFs—any GIF was ideal to be mentioned verbally.  Some of my favorite examples:


Seinfeld Leaving


Bert Entering Room


John Wall cringing

ARodLaughing.jpg (yes, it’s a static image)

A-Rod Laughing


Andruw Jones laughing

By now, I think you get the idea.  However for extra comedic effect, my friend John began to reference these GIFs but with filenames not associated with its corresponding content: referencing sounds with .docx file extensions, images with .aiff, and referencing other obscure Mac file extensions.

Of course, Isaac and I followed suit.  I’ve used “ClintHurdleTurningRockiesPurple.docx” in conversation before along with referencing more obscure file extensions such as .zip, .txt., .mkv, .flv, .flac, .7z, .pptx, .pdf, .psd, and more.

Isaac and I love to reference Rick Ross in conversation—particularly his “grunt” that he utters in songs.  This has lead to all of these:

  • RickRossGrunt.mp3
  • RickRossGrunt.flac
  • RickRossGrunt.psd
  • RickRossGrunt.pdf
  • RickRossGrunt.wav
  • RickRossGrunt.midi
  • RickRossGrunt.png
  • RickRossGrunt.txt

“RickRossGrunt.midi” seems to be the most popular/the one that elicits the most laughs.

What began as simple citation to Michael Jordan became a gimmick that I use to this day and a gimmick that continues to be augmented daily thanks to the internet, which has been regarded as a “hate machine.”

I hope this entry has found you well.  If not, well…
Seinfeld Leaving

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