The Popeyes Meme Kid Recently Became a Football Champion — A Brief Look at His Meteoric Rise

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Jan. 10 2023, Published 1:46 p.m. ET

Whether you're a Marvel actor in a popular movie who made a funny face in one scene or just some person in a restaurant trying to have a meal in peace, you never quite know if someone is going to turn you into a meme. Many of our favorite meme templates and reaction images have come not from movies and TV shows, but from candid photos and videos of regular people captured at exactly the right moment. One of them came in the form of the Popeyes kid.

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The Popeyes kid is a popular reaction image of a boy in the fast food joint with an awkward look on his face. The image comes from an old Vine video from 2013 in which a user captures footage of the child and points out that he looks similar to Vine celebrity Terio. When asked to comment, the boy simply remains silent and looks away. The reaction image is typically used as a statement of skepticism or judgment.

Little did we know that the Popeyes meme kid would become a sports star now.

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Where is the Popeyes meme kid now? A brief glimpse at his successful sports career.

According to Know Your Meme, the Popeyes kid has been identified as Dienuerst Collin. Dienuerst, who was 9 years old at the time of the initial Vine, quickly went viral as people began using his expressions as hilarious reactions to awkward situations.

Unfortunately, this unwarranted attention rubbed him the wrong way at first. In a 2021 interview with Sports Illustrated, Dienurst spoke about how uncomfortable he actually was when he became a halfway Vine celebrity.

"When it first happened, I kind of felt sad about it," he told the outlet. "It was somebody randomly recording me and I've never been viral before. When it first came out, I would take it as bullying."

As the years went on, he eventually "got over it." Though he gained an aversion to being recorded against his will, he claimed that once people who recognized him got to know him, he was able to comfortably be himself.

Luckily, he was able to achieve further recognition in the world of football.

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On Dec. 5, 2021, Dienurst competed in a football state championship as part of the East Orange High School football team. His efforts, along with that of his teammates, led them to win a triple-overtime victory against the opposing team and earn a state championship title. Having reclaimed his autonomy from the original meme, Dienurst even posted a picture of himself holding his trophy with a humorously skeptical side eye in a side-by-side with his viral reaction image.

According to TMZ, Dienurst is currently studying sports management in order to become a professional sports analyst. He's also unafraid to capitalize on his meme status now.

In early January 2023, Dienurst reposted his original side-by-side on his Instagram, tagging Popeyes and stating "I JUST WANNA TALK BUSINESS."

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