Seventh-grader Ryan McKenna becomes a star with Justin Timberlake selfie

Kevin Kaduk
Shutdown Corner

Janet Jackson didn’t make an appearance, nor did Britney Spears or N’Sync.

But when Justin Timberlake said his Super Bowl halftime appearance wouldn’t feature any special guests, he wasn’t entirely telling the truth.

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One of the most talked-about moments from Timberlake’s show came when the pop star went up into the stands among the fans. It was there he found a young boy, who quickly wielded his smartphone and requested a selfie that was bound to go viral.

Ryan McKenna and Justin Timberlake had a good time on Sunday night. (Ryan McKenna photo)
Ryan McKenna and Justin Timberlake had a good time on Sunday night. (Ryan McKenna photo)

So who was the young man in question?

His name is Ryan McKenna, reporters at U.S. Bank Stadium quickly found out, and he’s a 13-year-old seventh-grader from Hingham, Massachusetts. He was taking a video of Timberlake’s ascent into the seats when he suddenly realized he might have a chance to get something better.

“I just thought to myself, ‘I’ll never get this opportunity again in my whole life,” McKenna told the Pioneer Press. “I just went for it.”

Timberlake obliged the selfie quest while McKenna snapped the picture. No sooner did his iPhone capture the once-in-a-lifetime moment than his phone started blowing up with Snapchats, direct messages and Instagram follower requests. An appearance on “Good Morning America” was lined up before the end of the game.

“It was already crazy to be at the Super Bowl in the first place,” McKenna said. “Then all of a sudden I’m up on the Jumbotron and everyone is talking about me. I can’t believe it.”

The Internet being the Internet, McKenna also became a meme within the hour.






In the end, McKenna became one of Super Bowl LII’s stars, up there with Nick Foles, Tom Brady, the security guard who stiffed Kevin Hart and Eli Manning’s “Dirty Dancing” ad with Odell Beckham.


That’s some good company.

More Super Bowl coverage from Yahoo Sports:

Eagles beat Patriots in epic Super Bowl LII
Foles’ improbable journey ends with Super Bowl MVP
Gronk on retirement: ‘I’m going to look at my future’
Black screen leaves Super Bowl viewers baffled
NFL’s catch rule factors into Eagles’ game-winning TD

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