Where did the “Let Russ Cook” meme start?

After a terrible Thursday night football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos, Russell Wilson’s stock is at an all-time low. Tweets and headlines about Wilson being overpaid and overrated are all the rage. Of course, there are also many who sarcastically post the “Let Russ Cook” meme.

People have said mockingly “Let Russ Cook” on every sports platform for the past few years. In fact, it’s been used so much that many talking heads have started using it seriously. Let’s see what the “Let Russ Cook” meme means and how it started.

What does “Let Russ cook” mean?

During his time with the Seattle Seahawks, Russell Wilson was considered one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Although he never received an MVP vote, Wilson was considered by many to be a perennial NFL MVP candidate.

However, the Seahawks’ run-first, run-heavy approach frustrated many Seattle fans and Wilson’s fantasy football owners. The majority opinion was that the Seahawks would be a more successful team if Russell Wilson was given the metaphorical keys to offense, given him the ability to pass more, and ultimately “Let Russ Cook”.

Letting Russell Wilson broadcast it to his talented receivers was the overwhelming opinion. Of course, when Wilson plays badly, the internet will use the meme in a mocking way.

Credit: Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports

Where did the “Let Russ Cook” meme start?

You’ve heard and seen the “Let Russ Cook” meme absolutely everywhere, but where and how did it start? As with the origins of most memes and genius artwork, we’re heading to Twitter.

We flash back to 2019 when Seattle Seahawks fans thought Russell Wilson was the NFL’s most underrated player. The fact that he didn’t receive an MVP vote was criminal, and his coaching staff, including Pete Carroll, held back the greatness that Wilson possessed.

This has led many Seattle sports analysts and platforms to speak louder about their quarterback. Fans also chimed in. In Week 3 of the 2019 season, the Seahawks were booed by a New Orleans Saints team led by Teddy Bridgewater despite Wilson’s success. Russell Wilson led a comeback, scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter and throwing for over 400 yards, but still lost the game. It was the catalyst for an infamous sports meme.

Let Russ Cook Meme Was Born

Zach Whitman, a Seattle-area structural engineer, is credited with first using the “Let Russ Cook” meme. He tweeted this the day of that Saints game.

Fast forward to the 2020 season, and the Seahawks took on the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football. “Let Russ Cook” was used sparingly, Cris Collinsworth was made aware of the meme, and he used it in his pregame chat with Wilson.

NBC had graphics ready to use “Let Russ Cook”, if he played well. Following Wilson’s fourth touchdown pass of the game, Sunday Night Football used the following graphic, putting the “Let Russ Cook” meme on national television for all to see.

let russ cook meme
Credit: NBC/Sunday Night Football

Whitman, the originator of the ‘Let Russ Cook’ meme, called it “crazy” and “surreal” to see his lyrics go viral and air on national television.

Since then, the Internet has had its effect. There were photoshops of Russell Wilson in a smock and chef’s hat for the meme. There have been stitched videos with Gordon Ramsey screaming about terrible cooking. The meme has been used for better and for worse, depending on whether or not you ride with Wilson.

Through the good and the bad, “Let Russ Cook” will live on in the eternity of internet memes.

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