Well I didn’t get a chance to do much writing yesterday, I was out in Louisville doing the infield thing at a little horse race you may have heard about. And yes, I did bet Big Brown to win, and yes, it did allow me to pay for gas to get home, thankyouverymuch.
Since I didn’t get that chance to weigh in yesterday, I thought I’d toss in my two cents on the whole Papa John’s crybaby t-shirt business. Fascinating thoughts this morning from Rick at Waiting for Next Year on PJ’s corporate office washing their hands of the whole thing, which you had to see coming.
The current going thought is that Papa John’s basically sent a bunch of T-shirts to the Wizards as part of a t-shirt promotion and let them go hog-wild with whatever they wanted to put on the free shirts at Game 6. Unfortunately–for the Papa–in this scenario someone in Washington threw “CRYBABY 23” on these shirts, setting off a bit of a crapstorm along America’s North Coast. This is a best-case scenario for Papa John’s and for he sake of this article I’ll give them enough of the benefit of the doubt to believe that was the case.
As far as I’m concerned, this does NOT excuse Papa John’s for the content of the shirts. I, personally, don’t care that the Wizards created and printed “CRYBABY 23.” Papa John’s consented to the Wizards’ use of their logo on sponsored T-shirts, and therefore should have at least made themselves available to have some sort of editorial control over what ended up below said logo. Ultimately it should fall back on them, no matter how or why “CRYBABY 23” became ‘their’ T-shirt.
Should Cleveland boycott Papa John’s? Sure, for a while anyway. I think a week or two should be sufficient, just so that Papa John’s knows better. To respond to the question Rick poses at the above-linked WFNY article, I think the best answer is that Cavs fans should push for an internal reprimand at Papa John’s and, much more importantly, that as a sign of good faith Papa John’s should end their professional relationship with the Washington Wizards. If the Wiz are going to be so reckless as to put a key sponsor’s name on a T-shirt that slams one of the most popular and marketable players in the NBA, they should be punished by losing advertisement and Papa John’s should punish themselves with diminished visibility in the D.C. area for letting something like that slip through the cracks.
Of course, who am I kidding here? This will never happen. Papa John’s doesn’t care one little bit about offending Cavaliers fans, and certainly won’t end an advertising contract with a major sports entity over such a snafu. Let’s be real.
However, since none of that will happen, I would like to take this time to chastise the front office of the Washington Wizards. You people are, without reservation and without peer, the biggest gang of idiots among any major sporting team’s front office. First having your PA announcers coach the fans into booing the best player in the conference (and arguably the league) for absolutely no reason and then endangering your team’s professional relationship with a major advertiser to jump on comments made by your moron center, a player whose own captains told him to shut the hell up after he made the crybaby implications? Are you all high? You, as a collective, need to clean up your act lest you become an even bigger joke amongst pro sports front offices.
I feel much better now. Back to grousing over whatever the Indians want to call that poor excuse for baseball that they displayed at home this weekend.