Bon Jovi has what it takes to make the Bills rock
NOV 26, 2013 10:59a ET
Jon Bon Jovi wants to own an NFL team. The thought of a rock-n-roller running a football franchise is a bit disturbing. It's hard to picture Ozzy Osbourne in the buffet line next to Dan Rooney at the owners meeting discussing the proper way to bite the head off a rat.
Let's think this thing through. The NFL doesn't lack much in fan appeal, but one place it needs work is owners.
Like the league's persnickety uniform rules, everybody looks the same. Individualism is out. Seriously, how many owners can you even name? The guy in Jacksonville with the funny mustache. Dan Snyder, because you can't say his team's nickname without getting dirty looks. Jerry Jones, because he thinks he's a brilliant young Al Davis. Al Davis, who is currently dead.
Even in that condition Davis is still more interesting than almost every other contemporary owner. I know, their job isn't to be interesting; it's to become wealthier than the Saudi royal family. But, wouldn't it be nice if the mere mention of their name made you want to smash your blow-dryer?
Enter Bon Jovi.
CBSSports.com reports the Hair Metal icon wants to buy the Buffalo Bills. Bon Jovi's publicist, Ken Sunshine, denied that, though it was hardly categorical.
"The Bills are not for sale, and he has too much respect for Mr. Wilson to engage in any discussions of buying the team," Sunshine said.
Mr. Wilson would be Ralph, the 95-year-old owner. The team will be for sale when he leaves us, and Bon Jovi has never hidden his desire to be an owner. The Bon Jovi Bills would be a match made in Rock 'n' Roll Heaven.
What comes to mind when you hear "Buffalo Bills?" Snow. Super Bowl futility. A team who's most famous player (allegedly) murdered his wife. What little image the Bills have is negative. Bon Jovi would instantly change that.
His band has sold more than 130 million albums, so somebody must like him. Some of that allegiance would transfer to the Bills, as would the animosity of millions who'd rather stick chopsticks in their ears than hear "You Give Love a Bad Name" one more time.
Either way, the Bills would have a high-profile name and a face and a hairdo — and, to be fair, it's a hairdo Bon Jovi no longer spends two hours a day blow-drying.
He's owned an Arena team and has cultivated a lot of NFL ties. As to whether Bon Jovi is qualified to own a team, what exactly are the qualifications?
Money, of course.
Bon Jovi's reportedly worth $300 million. That's not enough to buy the Bills outright, but he could put together a group and be the Big Cheese. It would not be one of those figurehead deals, like Fergie and Jennifer Lopez and their tiny pieces of the Dolphins.
As for business savvy, Bon Jovi can connive with the best of them. CBSSports.com reported Bon Jovi dumped guitarist Richie Sambora to cut costs and put the money toward his NFL dream. If he could do that, Bon Jovi sure wouldn't have a problem playing salary hardball with C.J. Spiller.
The other main owner qualification is obscurity. We know Bon Jovi fails that one, and the Bills would be better off for it. If anything, Bon Jovi could be a trailblazer. America is obsessed with celebrities and the NFL. There are delicious marketing possibilities, like Jessica Simpson and Carrie Underwood buying the Cowboys and immediately trading ex-boy-toy Tony Romo to Saskatchewan.
Imagine Prince buying his hometown Vikings. He sure couldn't do any worse than Zygi Wilf.
This will never happen, Cheeseheads, but you've got to love the name: Green Day Slackers.
And who in America wouldn't tune in to root against a team owned by Justin Bieber?
What the NFL really needs is some sort of celebrity Rooney Rule. Every time an ownership position opens, it must interview at least one world-famous performer fans can rally for or against. If it means Ozzy Osbourne will one day accept the Vince Lombardi Trophy and then try to bite off Roger Goodell's head, all the better.