What's up with this bizarre cartoon tweeted by ESPN?

Bring out the gimp? 

ESPN put the "pulp" in "Pulp Fiction" Saturday night when they tweeted an odd and off-putting cartoon last night after Syracuse took down Duke 91-89:

Here's the image in its full glory:

While I applaud the use of cartoons (you can reach me at @RobTornoe, ESPN), featuring a rosy-cheeked Duke Blue Devil gagging on a force-fed orange with a gloating Otto the Orange saying, "How's that Orange taste?" can only be described as weird.

Since the cartoon was pre-drawn prior to the game, I'm left wondering what the cartoon would've been had Duke upset Syracuse. Would it be the Blue Devil fiendishly peeling off Otto's skin, or would Otto be forced into a blender, just about to be juiced by a thirsty Duke mascot?

Regardless, the image was quickly deleted from ESPN's Twitter account, but not before being seens by thousands of it nearly 9 million followers. Here's a sampling of the instant reaction the graphic recieved, topped off by SportsCenter anchor Robert Flores:


To ESPN's credit, they do understand how popular cartoons can be, and hire a lot of artists to do work for them, especially on social media. Here are a handful that standout: