Bon Jovi Live From Canada: The Definitive Anthology
For those of you who don’t obsessively and simultaneously follow both the NFL and the day to day goings on in Buffalo, New York, the Buffalo Bills are for sale after their Hall of Fame owner, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. passed away earlier this year. The prospects of this sale have caused great consternation and fear throughout Western New York (and really the entire Buffalo diaspora spread throughout the country) that the team would be bought by someone intent on moving the team to Los Angeles or Toronto. It’s hard to understate (or for an outsider to really understand) the psychological devastation the loss of the Bills would have on the region, as Harry Potter learned a few weeks ago.
In any event, shortly before he passed, Mr. Wilson entered into a lease agreement with the local authorities under which he agreed that the Bills could not relocate prior to 2022 (except for a brief window in 2019) and, importantly, that they could not be sold to anyone who ownership knows has an intent to relocate the Bills prior to 2022. This lease is viewed as Mr. Wilson’s “last gift” to the team’s fans.
Amongst the small number of groups and individuals vying to buy the Bills is none other than mediocre New Jersey hair band frontman Jon Bon Jovi, who has partnered with two extraordinarily wealthy individuals from Toronto. Toronto, of course, is not in Western New York. It’s not even in the United States. And it doesn’t really even have many people who give a hoot about American football. But it’s a bigger and more affluent market than Western New York, and the NFL likes bigger and more affluent markets, and doesn’t much care about the types of fans that live in a place like Western New York, so it doesn’t take much to see what Mr. Jovi’s* plans are.
Ever since Mr. Runaway’s intent to bid on the Bills became apparent, an anti-Bon Jovi movement has gained steam throughout Western New York. His music has been almost completely banned from the airwaves. And bars.* Days before his own induction in the Hall of Fame last weekend, Bills legend Andre Reed issued (somewhat inadvertently) the rallying cry “Fuck Bon Jovi!” For months, neither Jovi nor his maniacal Canadian partners said a word to discredit the assumption that they intend to move the Bills as soon as they can find a way around the lease.
The group charged with overseeing the sale could hardly ignore this, and ultimately demanded that Bon Jovi and Co. submit a new bid with more money and, more importantly, stronger assurances that they intend to keep the team in Western New York.
As part of a last-ditch effort to salvage his group’s chances, Mr. Jovi last weekend wrote a letter to Bills fans attempting to persuade them that he intended to keep the Bills where they belong. To say this letter, which does not contain the phrase “We will keep the Bills in Buffalo for as long as we own them,” was less than convincing would be an understatement.
But Jovi pushed ahead anyhow and yesterday submitted a new bid for the team.
All of which is a really long way of introducing this absolutely delicious
assault open letter by the Buffalo News’ Jeff Miers on everything that the frontman has become (and perhaps always was?) as compared to all that he claims to be. Especially this part:
What song of yours would make us believe that you are the real thing, that you “get” Buffalo?…
Lyrics like “I’ve seen a million faces, and I’ve rocked them all”?
That can’t be the one. One of the million faces you’ve seen repeatedly over the years has been mine, and I have to tell you, I didn’t like it much when you “rocked my face.” It didn’t feel like a shared, communal experience.
Read the whole thing. Let’s just say it’s a little hard to continue supporting a singer who likes to sing sentimental songs about the meaning of “Home” and the trials and tribulations of regular joes even as he seeks to remove part of the fabric of a working class community just so he can join the exclusive club that is the world of NFL owners.
At some point very soon, I think (and hope) the referee is going to have to stop this fight. The last time Canada tried to kidnap something from Western New York, it ended badly for everyone but WNY. I don’t see how trying to use a trojan horse from New Jersey is going to end much better. As things stand, Mr. Jovi is starting to make Donald Trump look respectable by comparison. No one wants that.
*Where possible, I have childishly removed the word “Bon” from the man’s name, as he is undeserving of any prefix that means “good.” I have also removed his music from my Pandora feed and have banned the playing thereof in my home, car, and office. If I could have found them, I would have also burned my old CDs in violation of New Jersey’s little-known Law Against the Desecration of Springsteen and Bon Jovi.