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The Story Behind Pickleball's Most Popular Anonymous Meme Account

by Jason Flamm on

In a world of tour wars, paddle delistings, and ever-changing partnerships, there's one thing pickleball pros fear the most.

Ending up on Memes of Pickleball.

For the uninitiated, Memes of Pickleball (MoP) is an Instagram account that has amassed over 23k followers by simply posting memes of professional pickleball. It touts itself as "The largest & funniest Pickleball memes page on the internet."

It's a page full of topical inside jokes that would completely miss the mark for the average pickleball player.

However, for its target audience – those who follow pro pickleball – it's everything.

The Dink was more than happy to land an interview with MoP's anonymous account creator and pick the brain of the most creative page on the internet.

It's time for everyone to meet the person behind Memes of Pickleball.

How did you get started in pickleball?

I started playing pickleball a long time ago when most paddles were made of wood.

A family member mentioned the sport, telling me I needed to try it. I went out there and was instantly hooked. I had the same experience that many players playing for the first time have; they get beat up on by a dude with double knee replacements and underwear older than them, and you can’t help but want to practice to get better after that. 

As far as the genesis of MoP, a good buddy of mine who is also a pro player kept on insisting I start an account for pickleball, knowing I had a background in making memes.

After a few viral moments happened in the span of a few tournaments in a row, I reluctantly gave in feeling if I didn’t start it then, I was never going to. For those curious about what that situation was, feel free to scroll to the first-ever post. 

(no scrolling needed, we found it here for you)

How many people run the account?

Just me and the imaginary person who just so happens to have made every meme that someone gets offended by. 

What's your process for finding clips and developing memes?

I actually like to keep this under wraps, but I have a method to the madness that I’ve developed over the years.

Once a news story breaks or something happens during a match, a few ideas pop into my head immediately, but I have a bit of a process that helps me create a full carousel of jokes out of one topic.

As far as the speed, as far as I know, I was the first person on the internet to make and post memes in regard to sports with a priority to get content up in a timely manner.

For instance, before I started, I would see an account make a meme about an NBA game, but they would post it the day after. I realized that the "shareability" of content heavily relied on the timeliness in relation to the end of games, and started getting content up as fast as I could following games, which then turned into doing the same after news was announced, and so on.

Over the years, working at a fast rate with this in mind has simply carried over to making ones for pickleball. 

Is Memes of Pickleball a business or do you just do it for fun?

Just for fun (at least for now). I have had brands asking for paid promotion, but right now, I have decided to keep it as a non-profit gig. 

You're clearly a pickleball junkie, yes?

As big of a junkie as they come.

I was actually thinking about watching pickleball some time ago, and to be honest, I just don’t know who would theoretically watch more pickleball than me. When I’m not playing a tournament, I watch nearly every event of every tournament.

Of course, I’m not sitting there directly staring at the screen, but most of the time, I’ll have multiple tabs of multiple courts open in the background of my work on my laptop and follow along that way, expanding the tab if something interesting happens or if there’s a tight match. 

The most praise has to be the SpongeBob and Patrick/Leigh and Anna Leigh Waters meme from early 2024.

I can’t even take full credit for this one as Rachel Rettger messaged me the general idea, but I had to go back and watch the match over, looking for certain frames, and then dig up old SpongeBob episodes to coincide with what I wanted to make.

So I have her to thank for ruining my night. As far as backlash, can’t think of one that wasn’t taken too well. 

Have you ever been threatened for your content?

Yes, actually a pro player by the name of Zane Navratil once assaul…

No, and I hope this answer stays a no.

Are any players safe from becoming a victim of Memes of Pickleball?

Everyone is on the table. That said, I do have personal relationships with many of the pros, but ironically, some of these players end up on the account the most as they are more than happy to be made light of. 

Any crazy stories or wild interactions with pro players?

One that comes to mind was back during an MLP event in Daytona when the infamous series of posts about Jill Braverman repeatedly falling and flailing onto the ground during her matches.

I captioned a post something along the lines of ‘Someone wrap Jill Braverman in bubble wrap tomorrow for her matches’.

The next morning, I stood there as Jill showed up. I watched her literally wrap herself in bubble wrap for someone to film and post for me to see.

Meanwhile, she had no idea I was standing there watching the whole thing. 

Why is Memes of Pickleball so great?

I’ve carved out a niche pertaining to the pro side of the game, and while some of what I post is 'inside baseball' and most of it warrants someone having an understanding of the professional scene, I think that’s what makes it even funnier.

I was always against just making stereotypical, generic pickleball memes, the ones that boomers love sharing on Facebook – and while that would have likely grown the account at a higher rate, making it about the pro game is something that I feel more invested in. 

Do you run other meme accounts for any other sports?

I do, but we'll leave it at that!

What’s the end goal for MoP?

Simply making people laugh.

On a more granular level, providing a platform where people can send each other jokes about something they just watched or news they heard. It's something that was lacking within the sport, especially with the pro game growing.

Hopefully, I’ve helped fill in that gap, but all in all, providing some laughs is the underlying goal. 

How do you feel about where the sport is headed?

This is, of course, such a loaded question, and especially with so much controversy right now within the game, it’s easy to be pessimistic, but I like to always put things in perspective.

If someone had told us a decade ago that this is where pickleball would be today, we would have called that person crazy.

Of course, issues like paddle regulations, tournament formats, trying to increase viewership, and broadcasting woes can seem to cloud that, but once again, if you told me years ago we’d be trying to figure out how to increase a Championship Sunday from 25k viewers to 50k viewers, I would have questioned how the hell we got 25k people watching it in the first place.

The sport has so many things going for it – whether it’s the influx of athletic talent, the introduction of it as a college sport, or the pro game slowly evolving into a spectator sport – it’s heading in the right direction. 

What’s your DUPR? How often do you play? 

My DUPR hovers around a 6. I play a few times a week when my schedule allows, maybe 2-3 times, and on the eighth day of every week, I’ll get in a drill session. 

Who are your favorite content creators in pickleball?  

There are a ton. I watch just about every podcast and most of the paddle review videos.

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Most of the pods are solid listens, and guys like Chris Olson have really elevated the review space. Other player/coach content creators like ThePickleballGuy and even Tyson McGuffin have put out some good stuff over the years.

Friday Pickleball is another that comes to mind.

A big thanks to Memes of Pickleball for doing this interview. We tried to ask for their name and address to send a giant check as payment, but their burner phone was instantly shut off.

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Jason Flamm

Jason Flamm

Jason is a writer from St. Louis. He’s been a coach in several sports and is currently working on his pickleball coaching certification. He loves to teach and share his passions.

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