ESPN.com Unicorns

Disclaimer: This is my personal view and opinion, which does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of ESPN.

You can try out the code on this page. Just type: ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A on your keyboard. Or click this Cornify button: Cornify

I am the developer who removed the javascript from ESPN.com the evening of April 27th, 2009. Kotatu broke the story on the unicorn Easter Egg. The Konami code triggered Easter Egg is popular on many sites like Digg (expands the comments). It was added the day before April Fools (4/1/2009), but it didn’t explode on the Internet til Kotatu blogged about it on the afternoon of Tuesday April 27th, 2009. It wasn’t a hack, virus, or anything malicious, just a Easter Egg prank by a developer.

EXPLANATION: Cornify is a javascript plugin written by Paul Irish Christoph Helzle that puts sparkles, rainbows, unicorns, happiness and glitter images on the site. Paul Irish wrote the Konami trigger. The code also changes the font to Comic Sans and the font color to purple/pink and adds corny words to the page. You can add the Konami code triggered Easter Egg to your own site with the code below.



The most interesting part about the Easter Egg is the fast viral spread across the Internet. Also no one seemed to have anything negative to say. Most people thought it was great that there was this code that changed the site. The only negative thing I have seen is that some people incorrectly thought the site was hacked.

Twitter and Facebook exploded with the Easter Egg too. “ESPN”, “unicorn”, “Konami” were all trending on Twitter. And I personally got lots of mentions on twitter after I tweeted that I was taking the unicorns down.

  • 4/27 19:26 - keithlam: removing Easter Egg from ESPN.com. thanks internet blogs
  • 4/27 19:29 - geekgrrl: RT @keithlam: removing Easter Egg from ESPN.com. thanks internet blogs.; Awwww. ESPN Web Dev is going to axe the fun.
  • 4/27 19:31 - mager: Goto ESPN.com and do the Komani code (up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Enter). Quick before @keithlam removes it.
  • 4/27 19:31 - paul_irish: @keithlam ooooooh sad!! everyone loves it though! http://search.twitter.com/search?q=espn
  • 4/27 19:32 - sujal: @keithlam sorry man, it’s my fault for yammering it.
  • 4/27 19:32 - paul_irish: @schill hahaahah!! so awesome. sadly they’re gonna take it off: http://twitter.com/keithlam/statuses/1633743492
  • 4/27 19:32 - mathewfoster: @keithlam BBBOOOOOO
  • 4/27 19:32 - scottconnor: @keithlam woah, ESPN’s trending pretty well on twitter right now: http://tr.im/jRND
  • 4/27 19:36 - cabel: …aaaand ESPN took it down. http://bit.ly/wah-wah — Hey, @keithlam, don’t add it if you don’t have the stones to fight for it! :)
  • 4/27 19:36 - boxkite: NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! RT @keithlam: removing Easter Egg from ESPN.com. thanks internet blogs
  • 4/27 19:36 - geekgrrl: @keithlam Aww, why’d you have to take away our fun? ;) I take it that wasn’t something you did.
  • 4/27 19:37 - keithlam: Dear internet, I didn’t add the code or make the decision to take the unicorns off ESPN.com. Don’t shoot the messenger. kthxbye
  • 4/27 19:39 - christydena: @keithlam :(
  • 4/27 19:40 - alexquigley: Aha! Maybe this guy knows something about it: @keithlam What was that, man?
  • 4/27 19:40 - paul_irish: The espn unicorns are gone, everyone. http://twitter.com/keithlam Please feel free to cornify your own site: http://?.ws/?
  • 4/27 19:43 - cabel: @keithlam Call me crazy, but isn’t "thanks internet blogs" just another form of shooting the messenger? ;) Anyway, sad to see it go! :)
  • 4/27 19:43 - meancode: @keithlam well that’s no fun!
  • 4/27 19:44 - mnolin: Entirely unfortunate that unicorns were removed from ESPN.com - best idea ever. And who are we supposed to shoot if not @keithlam ?
  • 4/27 19:44 - alexpalex: @keithlam If you didn’t think the internet would go batshit insane over glittery unicorns triggered by a nerd code, I’ll sell you a bridge
  • 4/27 19:44 - sujal: @keithlam hehe
  • 4/27 19:45 - Donerail: @keithlam booo
  • 4/27 19:45 - Drarok: @keithlam Awwwww :(
  • 4/27 19:45 - ErneX: @keithlam omg FAIL bring back the glitter to espn.com hahah
  • 4/27 19:46 - unicornrockstar: @mndaniels oh i guess they took it down. http://twitter.com/keithlam/status/1633743492
  • 4/27 19:56 - gulup_jamun: aaaand ESPN took it down. http://bit.ly/wah-wah - Hey, @keithlam, don’t add it if you don’t have the stones to fight for it! :) (via @cabel)
  • 4/27 19:59 - deadspin: @keithlam: You might want to check all of your pages. That was one heck of an Easter Egg.
  • 4/27 20:3 - ddej: Konami code on ESPN.com: http://is.gd/uZpw. Check out exchange btw @cabel & @keithlam here: http://twitter.com/cabel/status/1633416790.
  • 4/27 20:6 - MisterD: @gruber Doh! Never mind. http://twitter.com/keithlam/status/1633743492
  • 4/27 20:8 - kevinchu: @eltejano Yup. Look: http://twitter.com/keithlam/
  • 4/27 20:14 - keithlam: @Deadspin yeah, i am in the process of making sure that it is removed from all the pages. thanks for letting the internet know ;)
  • 4/27 20:16 - deadspin: @keithlam: We do what we can.
  • 4/27 20:41 - evanw: @demonbaby Aww, http://twitter.com/keithlam/statuses/1633743492
  • 4/27 20:48 - alexnichols11: @keithlam WHY DO YOU HATE FUN?!?!
  • 4/27 20:54 - sleepybrett: @keithlam spoilsport.
  • 4/27 20:57 - keithlam: there is a first time for everything: today it was honestly my job to hunt down unicorns and kill them
  • 4/27 21:2 - cloud79: http://twitter.com/keithlam/status/1634481147 HA!
  • 4/27 21:26 - espnbish: @keithlam all bow to the unicorn slayer. might be my favorite tweet ever.
  • 4/27 21:49 - jdeuel: rt @keithlam : there is a first time for everything: today it was honestly my job to hunt down unicorns and kill them
  • 4/27 21:59 - stillgray: @keithlam is responsible for murdering the unicorns on ESPN’s website. That murdering bastard.
  • 4/27 22:3 - ask: @keithlam Man, that "easter egg" was AWE-SOME!
  • 4/27 22:3 - keithlam: @stillgray i like to say it was slaying unicorns. not murder :)
  • 4/27 22:43 - keithlam: I personally enjoyed the unicorns. Honestly. But all good things must come to an end or maybe just transform into something else… :)
  • 4/27 22:45 - sujal: @keithlam ssssshhhhh.
  • 4/27 22:48 - keithlam: RT @wirelessjoe: @sujal my point was it was interesting how many non-sports fans were talking about it [unicorns on espn.com]
  • 4/27 22:50 - steveclancy: @keithlam perhaps if we can get it sponsored :)
  • 4/27 22:54 - keithlam: sponsorship opportunity @konami @espn put a konami code easter egg up, maybe it could show Pro Soccer 09 ad instead http://tr.im/jSxx
  • 4/28 2:11 - fonnerberry: @keithlam Aww, don’t suppose I could bribe you to put the unicorns back.
  • 4/28 2:50 - weblizard: RT @geekgrrl: RT @keithlam: removing Easter Egg from ESPN.com. Awwww. ESPN Web Dev is going to axe the fun. // what was it?
  • 4/28 6:12 - matthewweston: @sparticus I missed it! RT: @keithlam there is a first time for everything: today it was honestly my job to hunt down unicorns and kill them
  • 4/28 10:48 - shiflett: I missed the ESPN.com Easter egg. Apparently @keithlam was tasked with removing it. Who knew killing unicorns was a job description? :-)
  • 4/28 10:54 - webdevgeek: Quick b4 @keithlam fixes it go to http://is.gd/v5VM and type: up up down down left right left right b a enter [keep pressing]

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