ESPN.com, the Konami Code, and a Whole Lotta' Ponies

I can't make this stuff up. Some Web designer over at ESPN.com is either in for a promotion for "best unicorn-related viral promotion for ESPN," or said designer is about to get escorted off the premises.

Why's that?

Some clever tipster leaked to Web gaming site Kotaku that inputting the Konami Code on ESPN's home page brings up a joke that's sure to go right next to Slashdot's "OMG Ponies" redesign in the Web Pranks Hall of Fame. What's the Konami Code, you ask? It's that famous cheat code that one could input on a host of Konami games on the original Nintendo Entertainment System: up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-b-a-start

Don't believe me? Try it. Surf on over to ESPN. Wait for the home page to load, then carefully press the aforementioned series of keys on your keyboard, replacing the final "start" with your enter key.

Provided ESPN hasn't nuked the functionality from its site, the Web page will transform into an overlay smorgasbord of pretty ponies and sparkling unicorns. The header text of some ESPN articles will turn pink and the word "Sparkly" will appear before the actual words in some instances.

My favorite addition? The fact that the ESPN logo itself now gets "lovely" branded before the title. How cute.

[UPDATE 4:44 p.m.] ESPN has killed their Web ponies (and presumably fired one errant designer), but you can still access the magic by hitting up a Google cache of the site and inputting the code. Why ruin the magic, ESPN? Why?

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