Gene Simmons “Los Angeles needs football. We’re here to give Los Angeles the kind of football it’s never had”
Arena football has been around for 26 years, building a small-but-loyal fan base even as it draws little mainstream attention.
That’s about to change, according to Paul Stanley.
“We’re known for being bombastic and bringing a lot of artillery and firepower,” Stanley says. “Now let’s see if we can bring that to a football game. And we will.”
The name Paul Stanley not ringing a bell? How about Gene Simmons?
How about Starchild and The Demon?
Stanley is Starchild and Simmons The Demon in the iconic rock group KISS — known for their costumes and showmanship — and they are among the co-owners of the new Arena Football League team that will start play in Los Angeles in 2014.
The name of the team?
“Well, let’s see, we have built a brand that for 40 years has been synonymous with spectacle,” Stanley says. “What shall we call ourselves, the L.A. Hamburgers?”
No, they will be known as the L.A. KISS, and it’s a team that will be, according to Stanley and Simmons, fan-friendly, pocketbook-friendly and always entertaining.
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“Write this down,” says Simmons, speaking at a small news conference Tuesday afternoon at the hip restaurant/nightclub House of Blues on the Sunset Strip. “You can see the whole season of the KISS for 99 bucks.”
Stanley and Simmons, along with fellow co-owners Doc McGhee and Brett Bouchy, have hired a veteran Arena Football League player and coach, Bob McMillen, to be in charge of winning games, and they will trust him on football matters.
“I stopped playing football,” Stanley says, “when I got hit and flew through the air and landed on my stomach. That’s when I picked up a guitar.”
The KISS guys were approached about doing a concert to promote the Arena league about eight months ago. One thing led to another, and pretty soon they were talking about owning a new team in Los Angeles.
Now the bandmates known for fire breathing, smoking guitars and various other pyrotechnics, will try to bring that same energy to the KISS games that will be played in the Honda Center in Anaheim.
“We want to make it an event,” Stanley says. “During halftime and other breaks, you’re owed more than a guy dressed up like a hamster running around the field. We’re going to make sure there’s entertainment that keeps you dazzled. This is about football, but why not embellish it?”
And why not in L.A., where both NFL teams — the Rams and Raiders — left almost 20 years ago?
“This is good for Los Angeles,” Simmons says. “Los Angeles needs football. We’re here to give Los Angeles the kind of football it’s never had. You want football, L.A.? You got it.”
Writer David Leon Moore, USA TODAY Sports
Thanks to our friends at KISSONLINE for this.