1. On Monday, 31 of the NFL’s 32 head coaches posed for a group portrait.
2. The lone holdout? Noted curmudgeon, hoodie hobo, and zero f*cks giver, Bill Belichick (he of the New England Patriots).
3. When queried about it one day later by reporters, he dismissed the haters with classic Belichickian sarcasm: “You can Photoshop me in there.”
4. Redditors subsequently interpreted that tantalizing chestnut as a call to action, remixing the original pic with unbridled enthusiasm. Beerfueled initiated the scrum with something crude but effective.
5. It was quickly followed by an even funnier image hack from Mthfkn.
6. By now, the project was finding traction beyond the confines of Reddit. This contribution, from sportswriter Will Brinson, traces the gag to its logical terminus, substituting all of the faces for that of Belichick’s.
7. Because pop culture and stuff, things then took a subtle turn towards Star Wars, with an Easter egg that only attentive, eagle-eyed readers will key in on.
8. That, in turn, begat a second Star Wars-themed contribution from Redditor Gsfgf. Gone was Emperor Palpatine, replaced here with the equally menacing Darth Vader, who’s slotted on the periphery because he’s just one of the guys.
Side note: would Vader force choke a ref to overturn a bad call?