OK, it wasn't quite THAT bad. But Papa John's 23-cent pizza promotion in Northeast Ohio on Thursday did draw enormous crowds, and wasn't completely peaceful. Aside from some stores running out of pizzas, there were shoving matches and verbal altercations as people waited in line for discount pies for as long as five hours.
At the University Heights Papa John's, police said a few people tried to jump the line, but they were pulled out and those in line started cheering. A Newsnet5.com viewer e-mailed and said a fight broke out at the Springfield Township location on Waterloo Road in Summit County. Springfield police said a verbal altercation took place between two people in line. No one was hurt and no arrests were made, police said.
There was one serious casualty, as Papa John's mascot Mr. Slice was found in a Toledo alley early this morning severely beaten and stripped of his toppings.
The promotion was hatched, of course, after a Papa John's franchise in Washington, D.C., made T-shirts calling LeBron James a "crybaby" after James' complaints about hard fouls during the Cavaliers' playoff series with the Wizards. To counter the bad publicity, the company offered 23-cent large, one-topping pizzas at their Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo and Youngstown outlets. The company will also donate $10,000 to the Cavaliers Youth Fund.
Papa John's first idea was to discount the pizzas according to LeBron's playoff shooting percentage, but that would have hardly even been worth the trouble.
Papa John's Running Out Of Pizza; Promotion May End By Dinnertime [Cleveland Plain Dealer]
Papa John's Stores Will Close Early If Supplies Run Out [Newsnet 5]