Bruins back down from ad campaign after vicious Tampa talk show attack

If any hockey fans had a bi-partisan take on who they wanted to win the Eastern Conference Finals, a Tampa Bay talk radio host may have launched a number of them Boston’s way with his vicious attack on the Bruins’ marketing team this week.

The Bruins were forced to abort their humorous ad campaign digging on Lightning fans after the host of “The Cowhead Show” urged fans to bombard the marketing department with complaints. As far as we know, nobody called 911 over the campaign.

The offending signs in and outside the TD Garden starring the Bruins Bear (described as “cantankerous” by St. Petersburg Times reporter Damian Cristodero), read “The Loch Ness Monster. Big Foot. Lightning fans.” According to Cristodero, the campaign, “created so much backlash – especially after Tampa Bay radio personality Cowhead (real name Mike Calta) of 102.5-FM urged listeners to call the Bruins marketing department in protest -the team on Wednesday removed the offending signs.”


Since then, Calta has engaged in an ugly, vulgar Twitter war with Bruins fans.

Calta was also recently at the center of controversy when he interviewed Charlie Sheen during the actor’s “Violent Torpedo of Truth” tour last month for comments about film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, who apparently had said James Spader would have been a better fit for Sheen’s character in “Wall Street.” According to the Times:

Calta’s observation: “Now, one of them is dead and cancer ate the other one’s (expletive) face off. Now that is winning.”

“I didn’t wish that upon them at all,” Sheen retorted. “But in hindsight, it’s pretty (expletive) cool.”

Siskel died in 1999 at age 53 while recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor; Ebert was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2002, which eventually led to operations removing parts of his jaw and face.

Calta, who refers to his fan base as the “Cow Clux Clan,” offered no apologies for the remark. 

During the Bruins’ last playoff series against the Flyers, the team ran similar banners including one that read, “Never, ever date a Flyers fan even if she shaves her mustache.” While some Philadelphia fans were offended, the campaign ran the course of the four-game sweep.

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