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South Park Helps Inspire Broncos to Stage Part of NFL Draft at Casa Bonita

Casa Bonita and the Denver Broncos: two great things that go great together.
Casa Bonita and the Denver Broncos: two great things that go great together. File photo
We'd like to nominate the Denver Broncos' game presentation and marketing department for a genius grant after staffers came up with one of the great ideas of all time: announcing the team's fourth- and fifth-round picks for the 2018 NFL draft, slated to take place on Saturday, April 28, live from Casa Bonita, the world's weirdest Mexican restaurant, complete with participation by cast members such as cliff divers and a costumed gorilla.

And it turns out that South Park's famous, Cartman-centric Casa Bonita episode helped inspire the event, which will be open to the public and is likely to make cameo appearances on the NFL Network's draft coverage.

"When I asked our marketing folks, they said South Park tied into it," says Seth Medvin, the Broncos' strategic communications manager. "That obviously gave Casa Bonita some national recognition."

So, too, has the Broncos' boosting of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, our picks for the team's top two celebrity fans. When we interviewed the pair in 2012 prior to The Book of Mormon's Denver debut, Parker was rocking a Broncos T-shirt, and the squad has used South Park clips and graphics in the stadium at home games and on social media.

Trey Parker in Broncos regalia alongside cohort Matt Stone. - PHOTO BY KELSEY WHIPPLE
Trey Parker in Broncos regalia alongside cohort Matt Stone.
Photo by Kelsey Whipple
According to Medvin, "The league asked local markets to come up with a unique way to participate in the draft. We viewed it as an opportunity to have fun with fans and highlight a Colorado landmark."

The folks at Casa Bonita were immediately enthusiastic about the concept, Medvin confirms, and they're going the extra mile to accommodate fans. Doors at the eatery will open at 11 a.m. on the 28th, and diners will have a chance to rub shoulders with Broncos Ring of Famer Karl Mecklenburg, former quarterback Jake Plummer and ex-special teams whiz David Bruton, plus Miles, Denver's mascot, and assorted cheerleaders.

And that's not all.

"The NFL Network will have a satellite truck and a crew of three to four people," Medvin reveals. "They'll be streaming every single pick on NFL.com, and select picks will be aired live on the NFL Network's broadcast — and I don't want to say for sure what elements we'll incorporate, but each one of our picks will have some incorporation of Casa Bonita, whether it's the gorilla, the cliff divers or the mariachi band."

Cartman's mind would be blown — and ours will be, too.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts