They Had Us In The First Half is a reaction image featuring a high school football player in a post-game interview after his team mounted a huge comeback in the second half. The reaction image has been used as a pairing with captions in which the first half of the text sounds good, but becomes unpleasant or distasteful in the second half.


The image comes from an interview with Apollos Hester, a high school running back for the East View Patriots. On September 21st, 2014, TWC News Austin posted an interview with Hester after his team won a game 42-41 against opponents Vandergrift.

All right, well, at first we started slow, we started real slow, and you know, that’s all right, that’s OK, because sometimes in life, you’re gonna start slow. That’s OK. We told ourselves, ‘Hey, we’re gonna start slow, we’re gonna keep going fast. We’re gonna start slow, but we’re always, always gonna finish fast. No matter what the score was, we’re gonna finish hard, we’re gonna finish fast.
Yeah, they had us the first half, I’m not gonna lie, they had us. We weren’t defeated, but they had us. But it took guts, it took an attitude–that’s all it takes. That’s all it takes to be successful is an attitude. And that’s what our coach told us. He said, ‘Hey, it’s gonna be tough. It’s gonna be tough. It’s gonna be hard. You’re gonna go out there, you’re gonna battle, you’re gonna fight, you’re gonna do it for one another. Do it for each other, you’re gonna do it for yourself, you’re gonna do it for us, and you’re gonna go out with this win.’ And we believed that, we truly did. And it’s an awesome feeling.


The video went viral, gaining over 10 million views on YouTube and seeing media coverage from Deadspin and Chicago Tribune. Shortly after, the “they had us in the first half” quote began spreading as a reaction image. One of the earliest examples, posted October 8th, 2014, by user @keilo2x, gained 28 retweets and 14 likes (shown below, left). On October 10th, Twitter user @CauseWereGuys tweeted the image macro version of the meme, gaining over 2,500 retweets and 3,000 likes (shown below, right).

KEILO @Keilo2x Follow Girl: why you nutted so fast Me:you had me defeated not gonna lie adidas PATRIOT 3:17 AM-8 Oct 2014 Player Because I'm a Guy @CauseWereGuys Follow When your test goes from essay questions to multiple choice Ли They Had Us In The Firs HalfIm Not Gonna Lie 8:15 PM - 10 Oct 2014 Photo caption

The reaction image spread on Twitter and Reddit over the coming years. Some examples posted to Reddit include an anti-meme post on /r/memes that gained 530 points (shown below, left) and a history meme posted to /r/historymemes that gained over 400 points (shown below, right).

When you're an honest man and they had you in the first half They had us in thetrs halt, motoonná lie Photo caption Text French General Charles de Gaulle discussing World War Il ( .) 1947,colorized They had us in the-f rsthalf, not gonna lie Facial expression Photo caption Forehead Player Football player Photography Athlete Cool

The text of the meme has also been used as a title for multiple posts on Reddit featuring a story or caption that takes a dramatic turn towards the end.


adidas NEW They had us in the first half, not gonna lie Sports Team sport Player Ball game Gridiron football Athlete American football Tournament

Various Examples

I love you Haha imagine if this were real and not just something i made in a fake text app They had us in th firsthalf, not gonna lie Player When you're playing a casual match and are losing 7-0 but then a hacker joins your team and leads you to a 7-8 win They had us in th irsthf, not gonna lie Photo caption Player Forehead 量tat TIL that the first woman to serve in the US senate was Rebecca Latimer Felton in 1922. She was 87 and served for only one day. She championed prison reform, women's rights, and education. She was the last member of Congress to have owned slaves, was a white supremacist and openly supported lynching. via ift.tt idrinkcactusjuice Damn reading that was like 2 steps forward and then 6 steps back pleokonives They had us in the firsthalf, not gonna lie When Brexit looks less and less likely with each ministerial resignation . Cynical ★ Brexit ★ memes ★ s2oopidgod They had us in the-Firstha not gonna lie Photo caption Optimize Your Life @MattLaneWrites I graduated from law school 6 years ago with $250,000 of student loan debt. But after years of hard work and tens of thousands of dollars of payments, I can officially say that Inow owe $315,000. Hooray! u/YT_Jamie020FNBR They had us in the f t, notgonn a lie Player Allied powers in WWIl They had us in the firsthalf, not gonna lie Photo caption Player Forehead Photography

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