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Why did Lamar Jackson tweet ‘Johnny’? How an IQ quiz answer became Ravens meme during playoff run | Sporting News

Riddle me this: How has Lamar Jackson’s one-word social media post become a meme and a rallying cry during the Ravens’ playoff run?

The Ravens quarterback is all but guaranteed to capture the second MVP award of his career. And his Midas touch goes well beyond individual honors, as Jackson has led Baltimore to the brink of the Super Bowl.

So Jackson is an NFL superstar. But he’s also just like your average Joe (or perhaps Johnny) in his interests. Take his account on X, formerly known as Twitter, where he has amassed 1.1 million followers. From his signature phrase, “Truzz,” to his use of a famous Conor McGregor clip to bury Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Jackson has left quite a digital footprint.

But one tweet in particular has folks clamoring. Truzz is cool. But “Johnny”? “Johnny” is better.

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Here’s what you need to know about the legend of “Johnny,” one of Jackson’s most enduring social media moments.

Why did Lamar Jackson tweet ‘Johnny’?

Jackson is a child of the internet. And like any internet enthusiast, he enjoys a battle of wits.

The 27-year-old quarterback added to his legacy on Oct. 14 when he responded to a riddle. The question goes as follows.

Johnny’s father has five sons:

  1. Zase
  2. Zeze
  3. Zize
  4. Zoze

What is the name of the fifth son?

Jackson replied with just one word, the answer to the riddle: “Johnny.”

Thus, an internet meme was born.

The term has taken on a life of its own among Baltimore fans in the months since Jackson’s post. At the time of Jackson’s tweet, the Ravens were good, not great. They had just lost to division rival Pittsburgh. At 3-2, they seemed headed for a solid, if unspectacular, year.

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Then came “Johnny.” The heavens parted. The ground shook. And Baltimore found its footing.

The Ravens won nine of Jackson’s last 10 regular-season starts, cruising to the best record in the league. Jackson likely locked up his second MVP with standout displays against the 49ers and Dolphins to end the year. And he added to the theatrics with a stunning showcase in Baltimore’s divisional-round clash with the Texans, securing his first trip to the AFC championship game in the process.

Does Baltimore’s success come down to “Johnny”? More likely, the Ravens’ successes stemmed from Jackson, coupled with an improved supporting cast and the best defense in football.

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Whether “Johnny” helped Jackson reach his peak is up for debate. Whether he’s one of the league’s best is not.

Lamar Jackson stats since tweeting ‘Johnny’

Jackson’s numbers took a leap forward after his “Johnny” post. Here’s what his stats have looked like in the 12 games since then.

Lamar Jackson before tweeting “Johnny”   Lamar Jackson since tweeting “Johnny”
5 GP 12
3-2 Record 11-1
97.7 Rate 107.7
100-143 Comp/Att 223-336
69.9 Comp. Pct. 66.3
1,030 Pass Yds 2,800
4 Pass TDs 22
2 INT 5
265 Rushing Yds 656
4 Rushing TDs 3

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