Trace McSorley is a record-breaking NFL quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens. In early October of 2020, McSorley became the subject of video on TikTok when an old song about him, recorded during his college football days, resurfaced on YouTube. These TikToks typically feature a skit where the Ravens are down a quarterback, leading the coach to call in McSorley. McSorley’s song then plays over footage of him playing or footage of someone playing as McSorley in Madden ’21.
On August 9th, 2018, musician Matty Fresh Tunes uploaded a music video for his song “Trace McSorley” to YouTube (shown below). The song is meant to be a tribute to McSorley, celebrating his move to the NFL. The video had a little over 150 thousand views before the McSorley memes took off, but quickly gained over 1 million views during the following week.
On October 1st, 2020, TikToker sorley_yt uploaded a recording of their cellphone screen, showing off Matty Fresh Tunes’ YouTube video (shown below, left). This video is the origin of the original sound “Trace McSorley spittin,” used in most subsequent Trace McSorley TikTok videos. The upload gained over 379 thousand views in a week. The next day, sorley_yt uploaded another video using Matty Fresh’s song over footage from Madden ’21 (shown below, right). This video gained over 1.1 million views and 206 thousand likes in 6 days.
Over the next few days, TikTokers started uploading new memes featuring McSorley and Matty Fresh’s song, using sorley_yt’s sound. On October 2nd, 2020, TikToker tommyanfinson uploaded a McSorley meme, garnering over 2.9 million views and 456 thousand likes in 6 days (shown below, left). On October 3rd, TikToker fix_your_servers_ea uploaded another variation of the trend, this video garnering over 2.7 million views and 436 thousand likes in 5 days (shown below, right).
On October 4th, the official NFL TikTok page made a McSorley meme using sorley_yt’s sound of Matty Fresh’s song (shown below). The video gained over 3.1 million views and 576 thousand likes in 4 days and gave a significant boost to the trend.
On the same day, The Spun published a story on the trend, with more mainstream publications following suit over the next few days, including Onward State, Newsweek, the Baltimore Sun, and Sporting News. As of October 8th, the original sound “Trace McSorley spittin” has been used in over 6,500 videos. Videos under the hashtag #tracemcsorley have garnered over 40 million views.
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