DETROIT – Northern Illinois linebacker Pat Schiller broke out in a tired smile when he was asked about the #Harnishing craze, an Internet meme that mimics quarterback Chandler Harnish’s touchdown pose of pointing to the sky with one hand.
“Unfortunately, I have to live with him and constantly live in his shadow. I’m trying to not support it, but it’s kind of funny I guess,” Schiller said with a chuckle while coach Dave Doeren looked on with a curious smile and Harnish broke out in laughter.
“Apparently it’s something that he does after he scores. He doesn’t mean to do it, it’s just a tendency that he does. People just noticed it and caught on and have been doing it all the time.”
#Harnishing is a takeoff of the popular #Tebowing internet meme in which NIU fans, players and coaches post pictures of themselves pointing to the sky in random places. #Tebowing mimics Tim Tebow’s habit of getting down on one knee and praying.
On Monday, a video was posted to the Northern Illinois athletic department’s YouTube page showing Harnish in his touchdown stance before he knelt down on one knee like Tebow. Text in the video reads “If he can #Tebow, you can #Harnish.”
“I saw it and I didn’t even realize that it started to become a hit,” Harnish said. “It’s just something I like to do after touchdowns. I like to point to the sky. I’m a man of faith; that’s what I believe. It kind of caught on. It’s all good fun. It’s fun to build excitement for the program. That’s what it’s all about.”
Doeren just shook his head and smiled when he was asked about #Harnishing. He had never heard of the craze before Thursday’s news conference.
“I really don’t pay attention to things like that,” he said. “I worry about stopping them on third down.”
Little did the Huskies know, the craze wasn’t so original among MAC football teams.
Harnish’s counterpart in today’s MAC Championship, Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton, has had his own Internet meme for a few weeks now.
“Have you ever heard of the ‘Tet?’ ” Ohio linebacker Noah Keller said. “First there was the Tebow, and now there’s ‘the Tet.’ ”
“The Tet” is a takeoff of Tettleton’s celebration after the Bobcats beat Bowling Green on Oct. 16. The game ended in dramatic fashion, after Bowling Green quarterback Matt Schilz was sacked on third down, allowing Ohio to kill off the final seven minutes and win with a field goal as time expired.
Tettleton pounded his chest with both fists and pointed to the sky with both hands.
Ohio equipment manager Matt Morton caught a screenshot of Tettleton’s celebration, and it circulated.
Text under the picture reads: “It was the sack that led to the seven-minute drive that led to the kick that led to the Tet.”
The pose also evolved into a dance later that night.
“We tried to get it going more,” Keller said. “We were thinking about making a music video for it, but obviously we’ve got some more pressing issues to deal with.”
Neither teams seemed to know about each other’s internet memes.
What they do know is that whoever does the most posing today will probably end up MAC champions.