NCAA March Madness 2019: Crying Northwestern Kid back in the spotlight for charity
John Phillips has become an iconic symbol of fan anguish
Much like the pantheon of great March Madness performers, there's a pantheon of great fan reactions. Villanova's piccolo girl, who had to play through tears like Pippin in "Lord of the Rings" after the Wildcats lost to NC State in 2015, may be the best example of fan anguish. But Northwestern fan John Phillips gave her a run for her money in the 2017 tournament.
If you need a refresher, Phillips was 12 years old then. He's the son of Northwestern AD John Phillips and their team was down 11 to Gonzaga in the second half when the cameras caught the boy's particularly emotional reaction to a call. The pained "OH MY GOD" was made into a gif and it quickly became a staple for fans any time something went wrong.
Now 14, Phillips is back this March and he'll be appearing in a Pizza Hut commercial featuring what the fast-food chain calls the "What Just Happened" wail, but he wanted to ensure it wouldn't be for personal gain. The decision was ultimately left up to him, so Phillips is using money made from the commercial to go to "First Book," a charity from Pizza Hut that gives books to kids in need, and the Harvest programs, which donate foods.
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"I am not interested in getting any more fame from this, believe me, but when the chance came to help others, that's when I agreed to it and I'm honored to make a positive change out of this," Phillips told The Chicago Tribune.
Though the exact amount being donated isn't known, Phillips' mom Laura told the newspaper, "Let's just say it probably would pay for a year of Northwestern tuition, at least." That's approximately $54,120.
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