Of all the things to pull out of a wacky, raucous, absolutely hilarious viral video that’s been viewed more than 5.1 million times, a one-second clip of some random Knicks fan uttering two seemingly anodyne words isn’t what you’d guess would take on a life of its own.
But social media works in mysterious ways. And five days after Sidetalk, the verified Twitter account run by a pair of NYU students, posted a video of Knicks fans going berserk outside Madison Square Garden following the season-opening win against the Celtics, Jordie Bloom’s life hasn’t been the same. Which is a good thing.
He’s the guy 22 seconds into the video—that perfectly encapsulated the energy and enthusiasm of the new Knicks season that tipped last Wednesday—who randomly says “bing bong.” It’s a phrase, an utterance, a whatever you want to call it, that’s quickly taken off amongst a subset of young, plugged-in Knicks fans who are just as hyped about the return of basketball as Bloom, a New Yorker through and through.
“All my boys call me Bing Bong Guy now,” he says.
The 26-year-old who grew up on the Upper East Side and now resides in Greenwich Village possibly inspired the unofficial slogan and rallying cry for the 2021-22 Knicks—who are looking to make repeat playoff appearances for the first time in seven seasons. But what has Bloom extra hyped over his sudden fame—he’s been recognized almost a dozen times, he says, as the Bing Bong Guy on the streets of New York and at MSG—is the opportunity to turn the phrase into a brand and, more importantly, a community of like-minded die-hard Knicks fans who expect bigger and better from their squad following last season’s surprise playoff appearance.
But before we get into where Bloom wants to take Bing Bong and/or Bing Bong Guy, we need to get into what, precisely, is “bing bong”? Or where does it come from? And why did he say it on the video?
Like the 19,000 other lunatics who attended the double-overtime win last week, Bloom exited the Garden onto 7th Ave. euphoric. “You walk out and all you see is a bunch of people who all they have on their face is joy, excitement, happiness, it was a beautiful sight,” says Bloom. That’s when he saw a camera rolling and a microphone in front of jubilant New Yorkers saying the most hilarious shit—like “Tom Brady’s a bitch” and chants of “Fuck Trae Young.” It was the Sidetalk guys filming another video and Bloom was familiar with their work.
He knew, for instance, that “bing bong” was a phrase that popped up in previous Sidetalk videos and every Sidetalk video starts with the infamous sound warning New York subway riders the doors are closing. More specifically, after watching a few Sidetalk episodes starring a bunch of Coney Island characters, Bloom was uttering “bing bong” to his boys, like an inside joke, during a recent bachelor party.
“It had kind of popped into my head as a direct correlation with Sidetalk,” says Bloom. “But there was no correlation with the Knicks whatsoever.”
Now it feels like they’re inseparable.
“It’s a double-reference that is 1. commonly said in our Coney Island episodes and was invented by Coney Island rapper Nems and 2. is the sound heard in the Sidetalk intro,” Trent Simonian and Jack Byrne told Complex Sports in a joint statement. “Since it is a well-known Sidetalk reference and fans recognized us filming an episode outside of the Knicks game, Jordie saw us and threw in a ‘bing bong’ adlib. We added it into the Knicks episode as a reference to our previous episodes and it has since caught on as the Knicks’ unofficial slogan for the start of the season.”
Bloom, who had never been on Twitter before, created an account that now has a modest amount of followers, significantly less than Nems. Most are Knicks fans who have latched onto the phrase and are obviously tuned into social media trends. Search “bing bong” on Twitter and it’s practically all about the Knicks. A Bing Bong sub-Reddit recently was created that’s housing hilarious Knicks memes. Showing how quickly it’s caught on, the Knicks used the phrase tweeting out a clip of an Obi Toppin dunk last week. Chelsea FC’s United States account tweeted out a video of Thiago Silva shooting hoops with a soccer ball with the text “Bing Bong.” That’s after the Magic had the audacity to mock Knicks fans by tweeting it after lowly Orlando pulled off a surprising upset Sunday night.
“Fuck them,” says Bloom. “I just commented on their thing, ‘I hope you guys caught your connecting flight home.’ I haven’t been able to get off Twitter. That’s the crazy part.”
Before the pandemic, Bloom worked at Authentic Brands Group and helped build brands for the corporation. When the pandemic hit, like a lot of other people, he was unfortunately laid off. So he started his own thing called buildyourboys.com. Bloom—who goes to about 15-20 Knicks games per season and has season tickets for the Yankees, Rangers, and Giants—goal is to have the lifestyle brand, with its own line of merch, represent a network that motivates and support its friends. Soon enough you might just see a line of Bing Bong merch. Ideally, the Sidetalk guys are part of it, too, since without them there is no Bing Bong Guy or burgeoning Bing Bong brand.
“I want something bigger than a dollar, bro,” says Bloom. “I want to build a community. I’m in this to try and create something that’s bigger than me.”
Two words is all it might take.