The Super Bowl is drawing closer, and tensions are running ever higher between Atlanta and Boston. Okay, maybe not, but one Falcons fan is showing what he thinks of his team’s haughty opponent — by refusing to sell Samuel Adams beer at his gas station until after the game has been played.
That’ll show ’em! Samuel Adams, of course, is produced by the Boston Beer Company and named for the Massachusetts-based Founding Father. That just won’t fly these days in Dirty Bird country.
The gas station owner was inspired by a fantastically condescending column by the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy, with the headline, “It’s hard to get pumped up about a Super Bowl against … Atlanta.”
He wrote, “When it comes to Atlanta and its sports fans, we feel nothing. Maybe a little pity. … This will be like the Larry Bird’s Celtics winning two of their championships by beating the Houston Rockets instead of the Lakers.”
Atlanta is “a town with absolutely zero enthusiasm for professional sports,” Shaughnessy declared, adding, “Given the dearth of professional sports championships the city has produced, it’s hard to blame Atlanta fans for their abject apathy.”
That was too much to bear for Viral Chhadua, who owns the station in Gainesville, Ga., and told ESPN’s Darren Rovell, “I was already pumped that we were in the Super Bowl and matched up against living legends in Bill [Belichick] and Tom [Brady]. Then this article pops up and belittles our sports teams and fan base. I was irritated at the shots this guy took at the fan base and Atlanta as a whole.”
The shot Chhadua fired back did not go unnoticed by the folks at Samuel Adams, who took to Twitter to have some fun with the whole thing.
In turn, Chhadua expressed appreciation for the beer company’s participation in the rivalry. “It’s fun and playful and [Boston Beer founder and CEO Jim Koch] seems like a down-to-earth dude, so no harm,” he said.
One traditional element of most year’s Super Bowl rivalries that won’t be happening is a bet between the mayors of Atlanta and Boston. After the Broncos defeated the Panthers in last year’s Super Bowl, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts not only had to photograph herself wearing an orange Peyton Manning jersey, she flew to Denver and helped that city’s mayor, Michael B. Hancock, refurbish a needy family’s home.
However, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, having lost two such wagers in the past, wants no part of another one. He took a similar stance in 2015 and was rewarded when the Patriots beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, so there was zero chance of him making things interesting with Atlanta counterpart Kasim Reed.
.@vicky7news I've learned my lesson — not betting.
— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) January 26, 2017
While Reed will have to content himself with the bratwurst, cheese curds, chocolate and root beer his region won from Green Bay, an Atlanta Six Flags theme park is getting into the spirit of things with one from New England. As for Chhadua, he’s not necessarily putting a lot on the line, as he expects to sell his stock of Samuel Adams after the Super Bowl.
But until then, Atlanta-area patrons are going to have to look elsewhere for some of that oh-so-uppity Boston lager.