After last season's 7-20 September collapse by the Red Sox, undisclosed sources leaked to the press that the top three Red Sox starting pitchers—Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey—were gorging themselves on beer, chicken and video games on their off-days. "Chickengate" even instigated that these shenanigans were going on in the clubhouse while their teammates were on the field floundering a playoff spot.
It didn't take long for the jokes to go viral, or for people to speculate on whether the Popeyes outlet less than a block from Fenway Park was the restaurant of choice for these athletes-turned-fraternity boys. Popeyes either got sick of all the rumors and inquiries, or decided to milk this PR for all its worth, because they recently posted a banner message outside their restaurant for all to see:
4 Out Of 5 pitchers Prefer Our Chicken BEST
Judging from the looks and laughs of passers-by after yesterday's home opener, the sign is getting at least some of its intentions met—more people are noticing the restaurant than ever before. It's not clear yet whether any members of the Red Sox ownership group or the Chickengate conspirators have seen the sign—or what they think of it.
Of course, if Beckett keeps pitching like he did Friday (eight innings, five hits, one run), nobody will care much WHAT he eats—only that he keep following the same game-day routine.