ManningFace refers to a photograph of National Football League quarterback Peyton Manning wearing a black hood while kneeling on a football field, which is often linked in comment threads on Reddit as a bait-and-switch joke similar to the practice of rickrolling.
On January 10th, 2013, Manning was photographed wearing a hood while warming up during football practice for the Denver Broncos in Englewood, Colorado (shown below). Two days later, Redditor FusRoDah7 submitted the picture to the /r/nfl subreddit, where it gathered upwards of 1,600 votes (91% upvoted) and 200 comments prior to being archived. In the comments, many Redditors mocked the size of Manning’s forehead in the photo.
On February 4th, 2014, Redditor throwawayx505 submitted a post asking “What’s up with this picture of Peyton Manning?” to /r/OutOfTheLoop, to which Redditor livefreeordont replied with a link to the original /r/nfl thread. On September 4th, Redditor TobyTarazan asked about the origin of the photo on /r/OutOfTheLoop, to which Redditor Kijafa described it as a “bait and switch gag.” The photo was subsequently added as “Manningface” on the /r/OutOfTheLoop Wiki. On November 2nd, a Redditor linked to the hooded photograph in a bait-and-switch post on the /r/nfl subreddit. On October 28th, 2015, Redditor Meistarr submitted a post titled “What is it about the skimask picture?” to /r/OutOfTheLoop, where Redditor kevler9oh replied that the picture circulated on /r/nfl due to “the sheer size of Manning’s forehead.” On November 30th, a close-up version of the photo was uploaded to Imgur, where it gained over 5.8 million views over the next 14 months.
On September 10th, 2016, several Redditors posted the photograph in the comments section of post about Manning on /r/funny. On December 20th, 2016, Redditors CountAardvark submitted a post to /r/MemeEconomy speculating that bait-and-switch memes like Manningface go through regular cycles of popularity.
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