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A brief history of Boston Pizza’s cursed attempts at trolling Boston sports teams

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Photo credit:El Paso Times
Filipe Dimas
4 days ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins have always had an interesting connection, made all the more complicated with the hiring of Brad Treliving as Maple Leafs General Manager – son of Boston Pizza Chairman and owner Jim Treliving. As a corporate sponsor that carries the name of one of Toronto’s fiercest and oldest rivals, the two have had an awkward relationship where concerns over the brand’s name are quickly silenced by nachos, pierogi pizzas, and fish bowls filled with liquor.
However, despite the name, Boston Pizza has not been subtle about where its loyalties lie. Beyond just sponsoring and supporting the Maple Leafs, Boston Pizza has earned a reputation of downright trolling various Boston-area sports teams by changing its name or running ad-campaigns denouncing Boston entirely. However, despite vocally cheering against Boston, the Boston Pizza brand may have been cursing their Canadian fans all along.
With a marketing department based in Toronto, it’s no surprise that the corporation knows the value of rallying behind the Maple Leafs fanbase, especially with a number of locations situated in the downtown core – becoming a popular spot for fans to watch games at. Though it may have been the Canadiens who were the first to benefit off Boston Pizza’s cleverness when 26 Montreal-area locations temporarily changed their name to Montreal Pizza during a first round matchup between the Bruins and Canadiens to open the 2011 NHL playoffs.
Despite Boston winning that series, the marketing campaign must have been a massive success because a month later, 62 B.C. based Boston Pizza locations also briefly changed their name to Vancouver Pizza during the Stanley Cup finals matchup between the Bruins and Canucks.
Toronto would join the fold a few years later when the Boston Pizza located at the corner of Front and John, steps away from the Rogers Centre changed its name to Toronto Pizza prior to a crucial Jays vs Red Sox series towards the end of regular season with both teams battling for a playoff spot. Toronto would go on to lose that series two games to one and ultimately lose the division to the Red Sox – though the Jays would eventually make it to the ALCS after winning a wild card against the Orioles and famously sweeping Texas in the ALDS where they met a Cleveland team that had eliminated Boston themselves.
If you’re paying attention you’re noticing a trend here. When Boston Pizza changes their name to support a Canadian team it seems to always end poorly. Last year we saw more of the same.
After the Maple Leafs defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning to advance to their first second round in nearly 20 years, the Bruins had a monumental first round choke after a record breaking regular season. Boston Pizza decided to poke some fun at this with a billboard that read “Boston’s out. Auston’s in.” and an implied name change of Auston Pizza.
As any hockey fan knows, Toronto’s playoff hopes soon ended after that, losing to the Florida Panthers in only five games and raising questions over whether the Boston Pizza curse is real as the sample size grows larger.
This year, it seems that Boston Pizza may be aware of the dark magic it wields, as there doesn’t seem to be any corporate name changes across its restaurants, despite the highly anticipated rematch of Toronto and Boston. In fact, outside of a singular tweet from Jim Treliving himself, Boston Pizza’s social media profiles have made no reference to the series taking place – choosing instead to post about the playoffs as a whole and the four Canadian teams taking part.
One has to wonder if Jim Treliving is aware of the curse surrounding Canadian hockey teams and sent his son to Toronto as the chosen one to bring victory to the team, ending the Boston Pizza curse, ending the Toronto vs Boston playoff losing streak, and hopefully ending the drought of Canadian teams winning the cup.

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