What Happens When Your “Nintendo 64” Eagles Jersey Goes Viral
Jason Fanelli’s wife was just trying to give him a cute Christmas gift. She ended up making him a meme.
Fanelli, who lives in Norwood and is a lifelong Delco resident, is a freelance video game journalist. He also loves the Eagles (which you probably figured — he’s a lifelong Delaware County resident). His wife combined his two loves with her Christmas present two years ago: An Eagles jersey with the name Nintendo and the number 64.
He wore the jersey to 97.5 The Fanatic’s Fantasy Fest at Xfinity Live! last year. A stranger snapped a photo and sent it to ESPN’s Darren Rovell. He tweeted it to his hundreds of thousands of followers. Fanelli got a bit of attention.
But that paled in comparison to the amount of people who saw his photo (the same one taken in 2014) over the weekend. It was posted to the /r/gaming subreddit and became the nNumber One hot topic on the Reddit homepage. Suddenly Fanelli was deluged with comments from friends with one message: Hey, dude, you’re on Reddit!
“I don’t know who did it [post it to Reddit],” Fanelli says. “If I did, and if they happen to read this article, a message: ‘I would love to buy you a sandwich.'”
Fanelli even became a meme.
Ladies and gentlemen, I've been memed. Appeared on the NFL Memes Facebook page just now. pic.twitter.com/GRQzfAwGlT
— Jason Fanelli (@BigManFanelli) August 24, 2015
Reddit is the 10th most-visited site in the country, per Alexa. So what happens when your photo goes viral? Surprisingly, not much, says Fanelli.
“When you show up on the news, or in the newspaper, the people who are going to contact you who you haven’t heard from in a while are your older family members,” he says. “And they don’t know what the hell Reddit is.” Fanelli has mainly heard from friends or colleagues who are laughing with him about it.
“The one guy was like, ‘I can’t believe you’re getting this much mileage out of this jersey a year later still,’ Fanelli says.
It’s not a big deal. But it’s funny: Things on the Internet last forever. Fanelli is going to be seeing the same photo of him in his Nintendo 64 jersey for the rest of his life.
Very few custom jerseys are any good. It looks stupid if you have your own name on one. Jokes (“YOURMOM No. 69” or whatever) are generally pretty lame. The only fictional jerseys you can get away with are of movie characters (or an early 90s No. 0 QB Eagles jersey).
But “Nintendo 64” is just delightful and out-of-nowhere enough that it’s funny. It’s also meta-commentary on Chip Kelly’s recent roster building. Why buy a jersey of a player who could be shipped out of town at any time? Just buy the Nintendo 64 jersey!
Unfortunately, the jersey is not much of a good luck charm. Fanelli has only attended one game wearing it: The home loss to Dallas last year that cost the Eagles the division title. Now that he’s a meme, though, the luck on that N64 Eagles jersey is sure to change for the better. We can hope, at least.