7 min read

The 2021 Ted Cruz Dunk Contest

Highlights from 36 hours of the internet dunking on #FledCruz and his attempt to flee frozen Texas for a Cancún getaway. Presented by Sprite.


Editor’s Note: I originally planned to launch Fill Your Inbox on February 26 with what would become a regular Friday digest. That was before the Texas Snowpocalypse came to town.

You can thank the ineptitude of Texas leadership (and the hard work of those who braved the cold to get power back up and running) for this preview edition, with more to come as I unpack both snow and all of the thoughts on what went down this week.


The last few days down here in Texas have sucked, as you can imagine (or experienced first-hand). Those of us who at least have power or running water feel fortunate, but we’re all still reeling and waiting to see what damage lurks under the remaining inches of snow and ice.

Amidst the icy turd that Punxsutawney Phil dropped and the ensuing chaos that followed, the internet’s response to Ted Cruz’s ill-fated run for the border helped warm my heart and, in some perverse way, restored some faith in humanity.

These are my picks for the Finals of the latest Ted Cruz Dunk Contest. Who gets your vote?

Cruz’s Wednesday night escape was captured by citizen journalists at the airport almost immediately, ensuring that Twitter would wake up with the topic trending while Ted was still trying to figure out if the business class upgrade on his hastily-booked return flight went through:

Twitter avatar for @KevinMKruse

Kevin M. Kruse @KevinMKruseAm I too late to trademark "Ted Cruz Cancun cancel culture" or has Fox News already used it?

February 18th 2021100 Retweets1,573 Likes

Twitter avatar for @MEPFuller

Matt Fuller @MEPFuller@KevinMKruse Cancuncel Culture

February 18th 202190 Retweets1,004 Likes

Twitter avatar for @blaireerskine

blaire erskine @blaireerskineStatement from Director of Communications for Sen. Ted Cruz

Image

February 18th 202111,726 Retweets63,639 Likes

Twitter avatar for @Chasten

Chasten Glezman Buttigieg @ChastenIf you like piña coladas and getting caught on a plane

February 18th 202122,508 Retweets231,563 Likes

Twitter avatar for @ditzkoff

Dave Itzkoff @ditzkoff

Image

February 18th 20214,227 Retweets31,619 Likes

Twitter avatar for @sarahclazarus

Sarah Lazarus @sarahclazarusimagine boarding a flight to cancun and before you take off you get to send a few texts and ruin ted cruz’s life. a dream vacation

February 18th 20219,710 Retweets147,490 Likes

Twitter avatar for @BenjaminGCox

Benjamin Cox @BenjaminGCox@hunterwalk

Image

February 18th 20212 Likes

Twitter avatar for @PeteFreedman

Pete Freedman @PeteFreedman"AYO THIS MOTHERFUCKER FLEW TO CANCUN IN A PANDEMIC WHILE THE ENTIRE STATE HE'S SUPPOSED TO REPRESENT WAS FREEZING TO DEATH, SUFFERING EXTENDED ELECTRICAL BLACKOUTS, FACING WATER-BOIL NOTICES, FIGHTING FOOD SCARCITY AND JUST GENERALLY FAILING ON EVERY BASIC GOVERNMENTAL LEVEL"

Image

February 18th 20218,475 Retweets27,176 Likes

Twitter avatar for @KeatonPatti

Keaton Patti @KeatonPattiwtf was this statement????

Image

February 18th 202112,724 Retweets97,275 Likes

Things picked up after Ted was captured slinking through airport security on Thursday morning with a bag that just screamed “quick trip, I’m only here for the one night”:

Fortunately, the internet meme grid is a far more modern operation than the Texas energy grid and responded to the situation swiftly:

Twitter avatar for @hunterwalk

👨🏻‍💻☕️ @hunterwalkCANCUN CRUZ w background removed meme-ready

Image

corinne_perkins @corinne_perkinsSenator Ted Cruz carries his luggage at the Cancun International Airport before boarding his plane back to the U.S., in Cancun, Mexico. Photo by Stringer https://t.co/KKDtldAXoE

February 18th 2021339 Retweets1,857 Likes

Twitter avatar for @mathowie

Matt Haughey @mathowiethis is fine dot gif

Image

February 18th 202165 Retweets353 Likes

Twitter avatar for @darkgaro

Faruk Brbovic 💡 @darkgaro@hunterwalk

Image

February 18th 20211 Retweet2 Likes

Twitter avatar for @kernicus

kernicus @kernicus@hunterwalk

Image

February 18th 20212 Retweets24 Likes

Twitter avatar for @ilovepemmican

Bob @ilovepemmican@hunterwalk

Image

February 18th 20212 Retweets6 Likes

Twitter avatar for @_inundata

Karthik Ram @_inundata@hunterwalk Wes Anderson would be deeply disappointed by his luggage.

Image

February 18th 202114 Likes

Twitter avatar for @TheSavannaLady

The Savanna Lady @TheSavannaLadyI have so much work to do and should go to sleep but instead I am just making Ted Cruz memes.

Image
Image
Image
Image

February 18th 202111 Retweets65 Likes

Twitter avatar for @JHunterPearson

Hunter Pearson @JHunterPearson@hunterwalk

Image

February 18th 202110 Retweets63 Likes

Twitter avatar for @blkahn

Brian Kahn @blkahnWho did this?

Image

February 18th 2021616 Retweets4,747 Likes

FWIW, The Daily Mail has even more, for those of you who can’t get enough of #CancunCruz.

Once Ted was on the ground, the absurdity of the spin cycle began:

Twitter avatar for @GeoffRBennett

Geoff Bennett @GeoffRBennettSen. Ted Cruz in a new statement attributes his Cancun trip to “wanting to be a good dad” to his girls — while Texans were without heat, water and power.

Image

February 18th 2021410 Retweets1,469 Likes

Twitter avatar for @PeterAlexander

Peter Alexander @PeterAlexanderNEW: Ted Cruz booked his return ticket from Cancun to Texas at 6 a.m. today, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Cruz was initially booked to return on Saturday.

February 18th 202119,144 Retweets96,144 Likes

Twitter avatar for @AndrewSolender

Andrew Solender @AndrewSolenderTed Cruz: "The plan had been to stay through the weekend with the family." Says he had "second thoughts" almost as soon as he sat down on the plane.

Image

February 18th 2021269 Retweets993 Likes

Twitter avatar for @jimmaiella

Jim Maiella @jimmaiellaHannity softer than a My Pillow on Ted Cruz. “You went and you took your daughters to Cancun and you came back. I think you can be a father, and be the senator of Texas, all at the same time, and make a round-trip, quick, drop-off trip and come home.” “Well, Sean, that’s right.”

February 18th 20215 Retweets20 Likes

He can retroactively change his story, hide behind Hannity, don a Patagonia dad jacket, and blame his daughters, but cutting and running doesn’t play in Texas. Expect a lot more of this to follow the Coward Ted Cruz wherever he may roam:

Twitter avatar for @WUTangKids

Wu-Tang Is For The Children @WUTangKidsThe protesters chanting “resign” while Ted Cruz is giving a pathetic answer are heroes

Image

February 18th 202153 Retweets239 Likes

Twitter avatar for @parkersewell1

Parker Sewell @parkersewell1Probably not a great sign for Ted Cruz when my dad, a Ted Cruz voter, is also mocking him with memes

Image

February 19th 20218 Likes

I’ll close with this performance art piece that perfectly depicts the fate of Ted Cruz’s Presidential ambitions after this week:

Twitter avatar for @nonsmoknlifboat

Koro @nonsmoknlifboat@RexChapman @tedcruz flashback: Ted Cruz in a miserable dunk fail

Image

June 15th 202047 Retweets237 Likes

From all of us down here in Texas (and a vast majority of Americans across the country): GTFO, you Calgary Clown.


This is a preview edition of FYI with Kyle Bunch. You are receiving this as part of your reward for being the earliest of early adopters. The football phone should arrive in 4-6 weeks.