Just moments after the Patriots won the Super Bowl, a local software developer tweeted a picture that went viral, almost instantly.
On Monday, News 2 interviewed the man responsible for creating the viral meme.
Jared Smith is a software developer at BoomTown in downtown Charleston, and last night, his Twitter account resembled that of a major celebrity – as he watched thousands and thousands of people retweeting and re-posting the image he created after the Seahawks lost the Super Bowl.
“You know, the reaction has been really positive. A lot of people found it to be very funny. I had Sports Illustrated call me to say that it might’ve been the best tweet in the history of Twitter…which is remarkable,” said Smith.
The tweet simply said, “Welp,” and poked fun at a controversial Nationwide Insurance ad which ran during the game.
In the commercial, the little boy starts listing things he’ll never get to do, including kiss a girl and get married. He won’t be able to make those memories because he’s dead. He died in a horrible childhood accident.
Smith told News 2, “Nationwide happened and it was like, ‘Did that just happen?’ And then Russell Wilson threw a very ill-advised pass…and the rest is history.”
After the Seahawk’s inexplicable pass on the goal line with 20 seconds left, instead of giving the ball to Seahawk running back Marshawn Lynch, Jared said inspiration struck and he posted the picture he made to his Twitter account.
“I had my app up and I just saw my numbers start climbing and climbing and climbing,” explained Smith.
Sports columnists, celebrities, and over 20,000 thousand Retweets later, Jared said it was pandemonium. An Instagram account with millions of followers posted the picture Sunday night, which has since garnered over 100,000 ‘likes.’
Some of Smith’s co-workers saw the picture on popular websites and figured it had to be him because he’s known to make and post stuff like this regularly.
One co-worker at BoomTown, Mack Hill, told news 2, “I saw the reaction come through on Facebook and I was like, ‘That’s Jared. That’s definitely Jared.”
And for now, Jared seems to be enjoying the instantaneous attention.
Smith said, “I took something that was really a big downer and made a few people laugh with it, so mission accomplished.”
Smith’s meme drew some harsh criticism. Smith told News 2 some people called him a “savage” for making fun of the ad; but overall, most of the response was positive.