It started small.
Jake Robles, a Ducks fan from the Inland Empire, was scrolling through the Instagram “Explore” tab late last hockey season. It’s a section of the popular social media app that suggests posts a user might like based on who they follow and the photos they like.
“My explore tab is filled with just random memes all the time because I follow a lot of meme pages that post just bizarre, random things,” Jake said.
Out of the blue, he noticed a picture of a duck on a blue background with the words “SUPREME VICTORY” overlain across the image. He realized its meme potential instantly and excitedly screenshotted the image from his phone. From there, he added a lens flare to the eye of the Duck to put the metaphorical icing on the multi-layer meme cake.
The original meme doesn’t have much of a history. It has been used in the deepest trenches of the internet, particularly the gaming community, for a couple of years now, starting with a now-removed video series on YouTube.
Jake says he began posting it after wins late in the season last year. “The wins were so scarce that posting it gave me joy because it was like so inconsistent,” he added. “You had to celebrate the wins whenever they came.”
The meme was circulated around a few people within the Ducks fandom initially, but didn’t blow up since Jake wasn’t encouraging other people to post it. That, combined with many who were fatigued from what was a grueling season from a fan perspective, meant that the supreme victory duck remained in the shadows as a small joke between a handful of Twitter accounts.
This season, however, it has exploded. Dive into the replies of literally any of the tweets from the Anaheim Ducks’ official Twitter account announcing a win this season and you will find roughly half to 90% of the responses are the supreme victory duck meme.
Jake credits its success to him actively beginning to encourage people to save the meme and post it after victories. “I actually got more people to save and post it where last season it was just kinda me. I wouldn’t say my following has anything to do with why it’s caught fire amongst the fan base because at the end of the day it’s just Twitter and artificial numbers.”
As humble as he might have been in that answer, those who follow Jake (including myself) have a very thorough understanding of the types of funny, obscure, and sometimes edgy content he posts on a regular basis, particularly about the Ducks.
“I kinda have a rep for posting obscure and sometimes edgy stuff that it gets attention. That’s really all I can explain.”
Wins are not coming to the Ducks as often as some would like, of course. But in a sea of online cynicism drowning in overreaction and hot takes as Anaheim fans adjust to not watching an expected contender for the first time in years, the brief moments of joy are savored by those who still support their team but who need a little help from memes like this to continue doing it.
“I’m just thankful it caught fire when it did because now,” Jake happily noted, “half to almost all the response on the official accounts mentions tend to be the duck!”
Think he’s exaggerating? Think again. Here are the replies to the official Ducks account’s victory tweet against the New York Islanders.
For all of the crap that is on the internet these days, small moments of weird yet positive moments where a community can come together to celebrate happy occasions such as a Ducks win make the experience a little more bearable for those who are looking to share their experience with others.
The supreme victory duck meme might be weird. It might be confusing for some. It might even be a little stupid. But that’s part of what makes it both ridiculous and unique to the Ducks fanbase.