Cavs fans wait hours for 23 cent pizzas

I love a good sale. I go shopping sometimes even if I don’t even need anything. But, if there’s a good sale, there’s a good chance I will be there — especially if it’s shoes or purses.

I’ll even wait in line for good promotions or concert tickets. I want my free T-shirt, I want my free goodie bag and I want my concert tickets.

When I was a junior in high school, I got up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday to get myself to the Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheater to get in line for Elton John tickets.

I waited about three hours before I got to the real line. There were so many people there that they were selling tickets by lottery.

After a couple hours, employees of the amphitheater came out with bags filled with different colored lottery tickets.

Everyone pulled just one ticket and after everyone got their tickets, the manager pulled a ticket out. Whoever had the same color ticket he pulled was allowed to get into a line for tickets.

I, of course, had the right colored ticket — green — and had to wait in line again.

I was even interviewed for WVEC-TV, the local ABC affiliate — a news station I ended up working for right out of college.

I can take waiting in line for Elton John tickets, but I just might have to draw the line at five hours for a 23-cent pizza.

Pizza chain Papa Johns successfully got free press for weeks when one of its Washington, D.C. franchises printed T-shirts with the number 23 on it and the words “cry baby” across the top.

This was in reference to Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and complaints of hard fouls by members of the Washington Wizards during the first round of the NBA playoffs. Fans wore the shirts to the game, and everyone had a good time poking fun at James.

But complaints were made, and Papa Johns issued an apology and made the promotional offer of large, one-topping pizzas for only 23 cents.

The Associated Press reported that on Thursday, the demand was so high surrounding 86 stores in the Cleveland area that police were called to make sure none of the customers got unruly.

AP also reported that in suburban Cleveland, people stood wrapped in blankets outside a store in Westlake, and the line was two blocks long in University Heights.

One Cleveland Height bus driver spent most of his four-hour breaks between shifts waiting for a pizza.

That’s a lot of effort for a 23 cent pizza. I don’t think I’d wait that long. I’m always hungry, and I don’t think I’d be able to make it an hour without food.

And how smart was Papa Johns in doing this promotion? They somehow dragged a joke for a basketball game into weeks of publicity.

They got press for the shirts.

They got press for the apology.

They got press for the promotion.

And here I am writing about how ridiculous it is to camp outside of a local pizza joint for a pie costing less than a quarter.

It’s funny for sure and a great story for people who actually waited in line.

People can say: “And this one time, I waited in line at the Papa Johns for five hours just for a pizza. That’ll teach Papa Johns to make fun of King James.”

Is there a loser in this? The Cavs beat the Wizards, Papa Johns got serious publicity, fans got seriously cheap pizza and the pizza company will even be donating $10,000 to the Cavaliers Youth Fund.

The answer is, no, there isn’t. What all started off as a joke, all turned out fine in the end and everyone is happy.

Sort of. I know the Cavs are down in the series against the Boston Celtics, but that’s OK.

They won yesterday and LeBron is still the king in my book.

I just hope everyone who waited for pizzas got hot ones at the end of the day.

• Lanaly Cabalo, sports editor, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or


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