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The Loop

ESPN's botched John Elway graphic looks like a lot of things, none of which are John Elway

September 15, 2020

This morning I’m reminded of a distant memory—like a dream, only not. More real. More terrifying. Giant black wings stretching across the sky, blotting out the sun. Beating like a heart. Thawp, thwap, thwap. Thousands scrambling in every direction, trampling the old and abandoning the young. This morning I’m reminded of Joe Flacco.

That’s a Monday Night Football graphic from back in 2017, one that has burrowed its way into my skull and remained there in hibernation ever since. On Monday night, however, it finally awoke when the same sick bastards at ESPN’S visual FX department rolled out a new, and thoroughly unique, interpretation of “John Elway” for the second half of their MNF kickoff doubleheader. Warning: Some of the following images are graphic and may not be suitable for younger audiences.

The graphic of Elway—which was so bad it required a “John Elway” sign with an arrow to make any sense whatsoever—was immediately met with ridicule by the internet, who likened the likeness to everyone from Vince McMahon to the great and immortal Duke Nukem. The resemblance, as you see, is truly uncanny.


Finally, capping off the whole craptacular visage was the random Ford Bronco in the background—clearly an added-value buy from Ford Motor Company—that turned virtual Elway into the best used car salesman since Coach O’s Hummer-hawking days at Ole Miss. Take your Smart Car and shove it, Europe.

The amount of green lights this Elway abomination had to receive before it reached national television sets is truly astounding, but on the brightside it got us talking about the Denver Broncos. It could be awhile before that happens again.