The hunt is on to identify the rotund, smiling man perched naked on top of what appears to be a dead shark.
Even more bizarrely, Jimmy John’s Founder Jimmy John Liautaud and Florida Gators football coach Jim McElwain have both publicly denied that they are the man who is – shall we say it delicately – apparently humping the dead fish on a boat.
The Tallahassee Democrat reports that The University of Florida even responded to a query “saying it wasn’t its head football coach laying nude on top of a dead fish.”
Internet sleuths moved on to Liautaud.
Deadspin obtained a denial from Jimmy John’s sandwich chain. Not him, the sandwich chain insisted.
“The Jimmy John’s sandwich chain told Deadspin that the nude shark-humper also isn’t owner Jimmy John Liautaud,” reports the site. Deadspin notes that Jimmy John used to be a well-known big game hunter until he publicly discontinued the practice.
The weird photo originated on the Twitter page of Anneka Svenska, who wrote, “Who is this man? Please RT, find him & ask him why he did this? Where is the humour in humiliating slaughtered animals?” Svenska’s Twitter profile says she is “Wildlife TV Presenter & Film Maker. Adore wolves, conservationist. Director of GreenWorldTV @GWTVAnimalNews. Founder @angels4innocent Represented by @DFMtalent.” It’s not clear where she obtained the disturbing photo.
However, it soon went viral, with people trying to unearth the identity of the mystery man. Suspicion – due to the way the man looks – soon fell on Jimmy John Liautaud and Florida Gators football coach Jim McElwain, both of whom fervently deny being the man in the dead shark photo.
According to Sports Illustrated, the photo soon drew the attention of college football fans. That’s because “the sandy-haired, thickly built gentleman mounting the shark looks a hell of a lot like Florida football coach Jim McElwain,” SI reports.
The story progressed to the point where McElwain was actually asked about the shark photo at a press conference.
“Well, first and foremost, I don’t know who it is, but it isn’t me,” McElwain said, according to Sports Illustrated.