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Humor-free Lightning fans force Boston Bruins to remove billboard ads poking fun at them

May 19, 2011, 2:29 PM EDT

Bruins-Lightning billboard

Part of the fun of the playoffs when you’re a fan is finding ways you can poke fun at the opposition. Sometimes the barbs are fun and playful, other times they pick on the hardships going on with the team or the city they come from. From funny to crass to some being downright class-free it’s all part of the shenanigans that go down when teams get to spend a couple weeks duking it out with each other.

In Boston, the Bruins have their own fun way of stoking the flames of a rivalry whether one exists or not. Around Boston, the Bruins have billboards up that find crafty ways of needling the oppositions fan base. They did it to Montreal in the first round and Philadelphia in the second round.

When it came to Tampa Bay, a team that the Bruins don’t really have much of a history with, they had to get innovative and crafted their ad for this series to say: “The Loch Ness Monster. Bigfoot. Tampa Bay Lightning fans.”

Of course, when having some good old harmless fun at the expense of a fan base that isn’t exactly used to these shenanigans, you get some people that get upset. In the case of the Tampa Bay Lightning, it was a radio DJ who helped lead the charge in complaining about the Bruins billboards which led to the team then taking them down.

And here I thought we’ve evolved as a people. Damian Cristodero has the story from the Tampa Bay point of view as the leaders of the charge to get the ads taken down say their part. Tampa radio host Mike Calta (aka: Cowhead) being the ringleader.

“In a swift and strong attack we showed the Bruins organization that not only do we exist, but we are ready to fight for our team,” Calta told the St. Petersb urg Times in an e-mail. “We moved in like Seal Team 6 and shut them down in a way that other teams they attacked have never been able to do.”

“I don’t know how you can’t take it personally,” said Chad Schnarr, co-founder of, a popular website dedicated to Tampa Bay’s minor-league and junior players.

“When you take on the fans, you’re going right to them. I don’t think you can just laugh it off when it’s directed at you. Some understand it’s a joke, but …”


What ever happened to having fun? We all know what it’s like when fans of an opposing team say something that gets under your skin. You get mad, you get grumpy, you let it fester inside of you until it burns a bit too much. The best way to fight back against it though it to dish it right back.

After all, if you’re a Tampa Bay fan and you want to get back at Bruins fans you can pick on them about how they’ve been Bruins fans as long as it’s been fashionable to and that some of them are on the bandwagon just to pick up women. It’s far too easy to pick on them about how they’re just killing time until they can get fully invested in the Red Sox season.

See how easy this is? Enjoy the playoffs everyone, they’re meant for good time heckling on behalf of your team.

(Thanks to CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty for the photo of the billboard)

  1. govtminion - May 19, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    “We moved in like Seal Team 6 and shut them down…”

    …Seriously? You have to have some sort of sense of humor after all, if you’re going to compare yourself to Navy SEALs over getting rid of a billboard 2000 miles away from you. Grow up, people.

    REALLY want to prove the billboard wrong, Tampa fans? Show up tonight. Make your voices heard, show off your black and blue, make that arena shake, and prove to the Bruins and the rest of the NHL that you’re out there. As it is, all this jester did is make an ass out of himself.

  2. sknut - May 19, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Seriously when you acknowledge something like this it just shows how petty you are. Give it back, TB has a cup in the last ten years, when was Boston’s last cup win? I knew there was a reason I didn’t want TB to win and now this just confirms it.

  3. neuron90 - May 19, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    Who bowed to the pressure to take it down anyway? The B’s? The billboard owner? If it were me, I’d think of an ad 10x as offensive and shove it right back in their face. What ever happened to a little fun at your rivals expense. Are we reduced to dumb-a** bets between mayors who wouldn’t know a hockey puck from from a door-stopper. I’ll bet you a bowl of clam chowda … blah, blah, blah.

    Isn’t it a sign of the times that the natural instinct is to censor your ‘opponent’? Victory! We shut them up! Get a life morons.

    Btw, the ad seemed lame to me. Give me 5 minutes and I could come up with something better. Course, it might not get past the censors.

    • neuron90 - May 19, 2011 at 9:50 PM

      Saw some of the other ads. They were very funny.

      • govtminion - May 20, 2011 at 9:30 AM

        Is there somewhere on the internet to find them? I looked briefly last night but couldn’t find much.

  4. cliverush - May 19, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    The Easter Bunny is upset he was not included.

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