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Naked shark guy identified as not Jim McElwain

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We now know the man behind the meme is reportedly a former New York police officer.

Florida v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Below is a simple picture of a naked man on top of an (assumedly) dead shark.

That man looks quite a bit like Florida head coach Jim McElwain, especially thanks to his teeth. That compelled Deadspin to ask a Florida spokesperson if this was, in fact, Jim McElwain. The spokesperson said it was not.

On Tuesday night, McElwain spoke to the media before a booster club meeting and was asked the hard question by the assembled media. From the horse’s mouth, we had a denial thanks to the intrepid journalism of Edgar Thompson from The Orlando Sentinel.

"Well, first and foremost, I don't know who it is, but it isn't me,'' [McElwain] said.

When a follow-up question was asked by Thompson about McElwain's thoughts on how something like that even becomes a story in today's age, McElwain remained firm.

"I guess that's for you guys to answer,'' he said. "You know, in the world we live, what is a story? I just know this, it isn't me."

Days later:

WKMG-TV sports anchor David] Pingalore said the shark picture has been around for a couple of years, and also explained why the photo was taken in the first place.

“That picture was on the internet two years ago. This woman from the United Kingdom had send the tweet out, then Deadspin, what they did, was [ask] ‘is this Jim McElwain or not?’ They didn’t say it was.”

He said the photo was meant to be a parody. “They were mocking, according to this gentlemen, I guess in the UK there’s some websites that naked women get on sharks, so they were trying to mock what women were doing with sharks.”

If you took McElwain’s word for it, then this situation was done and dusted. But if you’re a conspiracy theorist, then you had ammo because, damnit, that guy looks a whole helluva lot like Jim McElwain.

But alas, McElwain was already on record as not being a fisherman, although he does have a boat on property in his native Montana. If he’d gotten over his fear and taken up the hobby now that he lives in the Sunshine State, then maybe you would’ve had something to go on. But it was pretty clear that it wasn’t him.