The 'Crying Kid' of internet fame has agreed to return to the limelight, but only so he can help raise money for charity during this year's March Madness.
2019's March Madness has begun and the eyes of the world are now on college basketball as 68 teams vie to win it all. Even those who have no interest in college basketball at all become invested as they take part in work pools that require them to put together a bracket. It's the kind of attention that area of the sport understandably doesn't get at any other time of the year.
It's not only non-fans hoping their brackets don't get busted that are watching, of course, there are also genuine fans of the teams playing watching on. One of those fans is John Phillips. The name might not mean much to you, but the image below probably does. Phillips, who was 12 at the time, was left heartbroken when his beloved Northwestern Wildcats were dumped out of the NCAA Tournament by the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
The image of Phillips crying went viral and has gone on to become a meme. Since then, the college basketball fan has been rather inventively christened "Crying Kid" and "Northwestern Kid." With March Madness beginning this week, we will see Phillips return to our screens thanks to a deal he and his parents have struck up with Pizza Hut, reports Good News Network.
Phillips' parents were approached by Pizza Hut asking for permission to use the image as part of its March Madness-themed ad campaign. They initially refused, not wanting to make money off of their son in that way. However, after the teenager did a little research, he discovered some of the charities Pizza Hut is affiliated with and got back in touch.
Phillips has agreed to be a part of Pizza Hut's ad campaign, but only if the fee he and his parents would have received goes to charity. The two charities the fast food chain works with provide books to children and also donates surplus food to the hungry. While the Phillips family has not revealed how much that fee is exactly, The Chicago Tribune has estimated it to be in excess of $50,000. A great gesture from Phillips and his family.