In 1984, I was a second-grader in love with the Denver Broncos. My dad taught me to read win-loss columns, and Monday mornings after Sunday games I’d devour the sports page. At the time, the Broncos had a baby-faced, barefoot kicker named Rich Karlis.
Late in a game against the Seahawks, Karlis missed a game-winning field goal when he banged the kick off an upright. Karlis missed kicks off uprights two weeks in a row, and Rocky Mountain News cartoonist Drew Litton drew what he calls “a fork with multiple uprights.” It was one of his early sports cartoons. “If you didn’t see it, someone was going to tell you about it,” Litton says in this 2007 interview. “It solidified my role here at the News. And probably allowed me to keep my job.” Litton’s “Win, Lose and Drew” features even evolved into some animated shorts. The Rocky’s owner, the E.W. Scripps Company, turned the paper from a place that employed one of the world’s best sports cartoonists to a paper that employs nobody.
Drew Litton was just one of the many unique creatives who found a niche at the news. So, as we bid farewell to the Rocky, it’s good to know that Drew’s still plying his craft on his own WordPress site. His art is telling great stories and making fun statements, mocking Jay Cutler, the Yankee payroll and spring training. So stick with it, Drew. You helped me learn to love storytelling. Don’t let the cartoons stop just because the presses have.