L.A. KISS ready to take AFL by storm
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Leave it to one of the most flamboyant, creative and iconic performers to enter the sports world and bring something unconventional.
Southern California has a new team on the gridiron and it’s not your average football team.
From its scorching, liquid metal helmets to the first-ever silver football field that they’ll be playing on at the Honda Center, co-owners Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley from the rock band Kiss, vow to provide an experience none have ever seen.
Meet the AFL’s new expansion team: the Los Angeles KISS.
"Much like KISS (the band) has been pioneers in their 40-year career, doing things that have never been done, not playing by the rules, taking risks — We’re going to do the same things" said team president Schuyler Hoversten.
— Uniswag (@Uniformswag) March 10, 2014
Simmons added: "It’s the 21st century. Welcome. Your dad’s and your mom’s regular football is a thing of the past."
That was instantly apparent when the KISS uniform and helmet were unveiled. The helmet is comprised of lustrous chrome hue, most notably worn by Oregon, in the back, while the front is filled with flames, including the facemask and the visor. The uniform also sports the flames on the shoulder pads and in the number.
"Nothing subtle here. These guys are superheroes and they’re dressed for battle. The battle in the 21st century," Stanley said.
Not unique enough? Aside from their eye-catching uniforms, the KISS insist on being identified more than just a team in the AFL. They call themselves an "entertainment brand."
"We are a fusion of sports, entertainment, theatre and music — so much so that we’re going to have over 100 non-football entertainers, we will have a live band in every single game, we will have players entering the arena like nothing you’ve ever seen before," co-owner Brett Bouchy said.
— LA KISS (@LAKISS_AFL) March 10, 2014
And Bouchy should know. He was a part of the Orlando Predators ownership group for 15 seasons. He’s well aware of the spotlight Simmons and Stanley can offer.
KISS will have their first game nationally televised and are currently being filmed for a reality television show that will be aired this summer on AMC.
On the field, Kiss is ready to win now, which was evident in the hiring of 2013 Coach of the Year and Hall of Fame inductee Bob McMillen.
"We don’t look at it as an expansion team. We look at it as a team that’s going to go out there and compete for a championship," McMillen said.
"Every player on our team has some type of NFL experience…These aren’t guys who are going out there playing high school football."
— LA KISS (@LAKISS_AFL) March 9, 2014
Stanley reflected on a turning point in the band’s career that occurred just down the street from the Honda Center at Angel Stadium, known back then as Anaheim Stadium, in 1976.
The successful concert put on by the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers 38 years ago comes full circle as they embark on a new mission in a different setting.
Whether its music or sports, the means to achieve triumph remains the same.
"When we put our name on something, we commit ourselves 100 percent," Stanley said.