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Maybe Jim McElwain didn't actually look like a sunburned raccoon on ESPN

The Internet: Not always true.


Last week, prior to Florida's arrival in Hoover for SEC Media Days on Monday, the SEC Network aired a special entitled Florida Summer Football Tour. This occasioned one of my favorite1 things: People taking pictures of their television sets to document something that is strange!

In this case, it was Florida coach Jim McElwain apparently having a "purple" sunburn.

It may or may not surprise you to learn that McElwain was not #actually burned so badly his skin turned purple, or even fire-engine red.

Florida Summer Football Tour re-aired on Saturday morning at an ungodly hour, then again this Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m., so I got out of bed to watch it at an hour I'd really rather not see without a flight being involved — and I saw no evidence of radioactivity on McElwain's countenance, though I must note that I missed the first few minutes of the show, and thus, likely, the first bits of a segment that included the sit-down interview with McElwain from which the pictures were taken.

Here are the six (hey, I was up; I also got enough other screencaps and quotes for another article) screencaps of McElwain in that same interview I snagged from the program. I haven't retouched them, and I haven't done anything to the images you see here except crop them. (You can see the full-size versions of the two larger ones two by clicking here and here.)

McElwain Face 1

McElwain Face 2

McElwain Face 3

McElwain Face 4

Mac Face 3

Mac Face 2

Clearly, I think McElwain's a little sunburned and redder than his tanned skin tone, especially on the forehead, in some of those caps, but he sure doesn't look nearly as crispy as he did in the pictures that went viral last week. And the program shows McElwain with sunglasses on at practice, in basically the pattern of non-burn you see around his eyes, so you can bet it was fairly fresh.

But there's just not much truth here: Even the "Summer" portion of "Summer Tour" was a lie, really. Almost all of the footage is identical to footage taken on March 26 and aired in March during a segment on Florida during the SEC Network's Spring Football Tour, and a segment on strength and conditioning coordinator Mike Kent was repurposed for the show as well. March 26 may feel like summer in Gainesville, but it is very much spring — and when this was originally aired, including pieces of McElwain's interview (note the same shirt and windbreaker combo), no one noticed McElwain's sunburn.

And yet, in July, thanks to two tweets featuring pictures taken of television screens, McElwain got compared to a raccoon.

Truth dies every day. And I'm sorry we contributed to it dying last Monday. But I'm glad we get to correct the record today.


  1. Like hell it is.