There is a confirmed report from ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen that rock legend Jon Bon Jovi is interested in purchasing a 15% stake in the Atlanta Falcons for 150 million dollars.
This story has big implications for Falcons fans as it shows majority owner Arthur Blank is looking for outside capital to build the outdoor stadium he longs for (and the revenue that would be the team’s alone, not shared with the state), and that he is beginning to understand that he may have to build the stadium himself, like Bob Kraft did in New England.
Unfortunately, what should have been seen as welcome news to the Atlanta sports media was instead given a snarky, uninformed, and just plain ignorant rebuke by noted Atlanta Journal-Constitution sports columnist Mark Bradley. Mr. Bradley goes as far in his ignorance as to compare Bon Jovi, who made over 100 million dollars last year with his eponymous band, to one-hit-wonder rapper Vanilla Ice, who now flips houses on the DIY Network. To Mr. Bradley, because he has, “never met anyone” who enjoys Bon Jovi’s string of top-10 hits and platinum-selling records, this of course must mean that Bon Jovi is a, “dull celebrity” who “may be the one musician in the world in which I have the least interest.”
Mr. Bradley goes out of his way to insult a prospective owner for the Falcons who could bring much-needed money into the franchise to help secure its place amongst the NFL elite as well as help the team learn how to market itself better, you know, considering that Mr. Bon Jovi has done an outstanding job in marketing himself, his band, and his music for a quarter century. Quick people, name me bands from the 1980s that have stayed as relevant (meaning they’re still together, still selling albums, and still selling out venues world-wide) as Bon Jovi has. I’ll wait as you try and figure it out.
What disappoints me the most after having read Mr. Bradley’s column is that it is sloppy. Instead of offering any real journalism or substance, such as information about Jon Bon Jovi the successful sports team owner, we’re instead treated to Mark Bradley wishing Jack White could buy a piece of the Falcons. Not once did Mr. Bradley mention that Bon Jovi was a principle owner of the Philadelphia Soul Arena League franchise, which won the league’s championship in 2008. He doesn’t mention the fact that Bon Jovi oversees and controls almost all aspects of his music; how it is produced, marketed, and sold, and that is unfortunate.
What’s most amazing to me is Bon Jovi’s marketing acumen, keeping his band relevant for over two decades. Yet, instead of reading about that, we read how Mr. Bradley may be the one person in the world who didn’t hate that the Black-Eyed Peas murdered Sweet Child of Mine (a crime against humanity, by the way) during the Super Bowl. That fact alone calls into question Mr. Bradley’s ability to critique Bon Jovi and his music.
Bon Jovi was never known as a wild partier, like frontmen from other bands of the 80s and 90s. He doesn’t have a lurid-drug-filled past. He’s respected in the music industry, and although the Arena League folded due to the recession and bad economy, he ran his team well, and was respected in that field by the other owners, too. Instead of offering his readers any of that pertinent information, Mr. Bradley rambles on about missing the days of MC Hammer on the Falcons sideline. He even goes as far as to wonder why perpetual dumpster fire and public relations disaster Kanye West couldn’t be interested in buying a stake in the Falcons.
I guess to Mark Bradley, a man who can still make 100 million dollars a year selling out stadiums the world over two decades after his band’s big debut, who has run a sports team of his own, who is a savvy marketer, and who never does anything to embarrass himself, his family, his friends, or his business associates (the way Kanye West routinely does) isn’t good enough to buy into the Falcons because well, Mark Bradley simply doesn’t care for his music.
The fact is, for all of the reasons I outlined (and Mark Bradley did not), the Atlanta Falcons organization and fans should be ECSTATIC to have Mr. Bon Jovi join Arthur Blank as an owner, and maybe one day, as a majority owner (NFL league rules stipulate a stake of 30% to be a majority owner). Here’s hoping the sale goes through quickly.
I’ll be honest, I expected far better from Mark Bradley, who I’ve read since I first learned to read. As a columnist it's fine to let your readers know that you don't like Bon Jovi's music. We read because of the opinions. But after making that qualifying statement, Falcons fans should have been able to read about how this deal would be good, or bad, for the team, not continued piling-on by Mr. Bradley and his lack of caring for Bon Jovi's music.
Everyone is allowed a mulligan every once in awhile, because we all make mistakes, fallible humans that we are.
Mr. Bradley, I’d call for a mulligan on that column if I were you. No harm, no foul. But you have to call for it.
2010 Bulldogs’ Leading Rusher in Trouble… AGAIN
Bulldog running back Washaun Ealey has been suspended indefinitely from the football team and all team activities by head coach Mark Richt for missing punishment runs, as reported Tuesday on AJC.com by Tim Tucker, the Georgia beat writer.
This is not the first time Ealey has been in Richt’s dog house in the last 12 months, as he sustained a suspended driver’s license, was explicitly told by coaches to not drive, and then was involved in a hit-and-run accident on a parked car in which he was the driver. To go with his severe lack of discipline off the field, Ealey’s career on the field has suffered as well, as his ill timed fumbles against South Carolina and Mississippi State directly helped to contribute to those back-breaking losses in the worst Bulldog football season in 15 years.
Ealey was seen as the heir-presumptive to the exciting Knowshon Moreno during the last half of the 2009 season, ending with a performance for the ages in an upset win on the road at the hated soon-to-be ACC Champion Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. But since that great day, Ealey has caused nothing but consternation for his coaches and Bulldog fans, and it appears as his time in Athens may be coming to an end. There is a persistent rumor circulating on campus that Ealey will transfer to Georgia Southern to finish his eligibility, of which he has two years left.
As Mark Richt is trying to save his job and create an new air of accountability in his program that has been lacking for years, this Bulldog fan hopes Coach Richt helps facilitate the knuckle-headed Ealey’s way out of town and down to Statesboro.
Today in History
On 09 February 1964, The Beatles made their famous first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The boys from Liverpool played their hits All My Lovin’, ‘Till There Was You, and She Loves You to a studio audience filled with screaming teenaged girls, and a television audience of 73 million people, which at the time set the record for most people watching a single program.
This appearance is considered culturally significant as it launched the British Invasion of the American rock and roll scene, forever changing the landscape of popular music in America… and the world. Other acts would follow The Beatles across the pond, including The Rolling Stones, The Animals, and Dusty Springfield. Music, and life, would never be the same.
There is a show all of y’all need to watch if you’re not. It’s on FX and it’s called Justified. It is just about the coolest thing on television since Battlestar Galactica and The Wire finished their runs.
Justified is based on an Elmore Leonard short story and stars Deadwood bad ass Timothy Olyphant as bad ass US Marshall Raylan Givens, sent to his home state of Kentucky after shooting a Miami hitman. The first season of the show was top-notch, featuring an outstanding supporting role created by Walton Goggins, a vet from The Shield. Goggins played Raylan’s childhood friend now enemy Boyd Crowder, and the first episode doesn’t end their relationship in quite the way you’d expect it to. Besides two great performances from Olyphant and Goggins, Justified doesn’t play by the same rules as all of the other police procedurals on television do. First off, the show is set in rural Kentucky, not New York, Chicago, or L.A. The setting is country, as are the people, which bring interesting twists to what could be tired issues facing our “heroes.” The show has action for sure, as Raylan is known for his quick draw, and quicker trigger finger, but there is a great undercurrent of dark humor running through the show’s writing, much like in Dexter, the show I recommended last week.
Now, if you’ve never seen the show, the second season starts today, so I recommend DVRing the first couple of episodes while you catch up on the first season, which is out now on DVD and BluRay.
If you’re a fan cracker-jack action littered with snappy dialogue and great performances all-around, Justified is the show for you. See it. Season Pass it. Give it a shot. You won’t be sorry you did.
This one’s for you, Mark Bradley.
When you have a song, that becomes part of people's lives, forever marking memories, it's nothing short of magic. It's the closest thing to immortality we'll ever know.
Jon Bon Jovi
Hey, Check This Out!
Also in honor of Mr. Bradley, here’s Barney Stinson showing us what song leads off his “Get Psyched Mix.”
Hey, Check This Out! (Bonus Edition)
And because that little taste of Bon Jovi is nowhere near enough (except for Mr. Bradley), here’s the full music video. Man… I miss the 80s! (btdubs, might have to watch advertisement)