OFF MAIN STREET/The offbeat side of the news - The Buffalo News

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OFF MAIN STREET/The offbeat side of the news

Just skip to the verdict

A Buffalo man made TMZ’s website last week, but he’s no celebrity.

He’s just suing one in another one of his federal lawsuits.

TMZ’s headline sums it up: “Starbucks Sued: My Oprah Chai Tea Was Spiked With Heroin, Claims Bizzare Lawsuit.”

Vernon Charles Allen Merriweather – dubbed “VCAM” by TMZ – filed a lawsuit in federal court.

“VCAM is suing Oprah, Starbucks, and 2 colleges in Buffalo (’cause why not) for discrimination and harassment – and wants all involved to get diversity training ... and give him $15 million,” TMZ reports.

Merriweather is no stranger to the federal court system, where he represents himself.

He filed a suit against Nike in 2011, which was dismissed, and against a landlord near the Peace Bridge in 2012, in which the defendants won a judgment.

But Merriweather, of Bailey Avenue, will have to overcome at least one inconvenient fact in his latest lawsuit.

“Just in case you’re still taking the suit seriously,” TMZ reported, “VCAM’s tea was allegedly spiked 6 months BEFORE Oprah Chai tea even debuted! Yeah.”

A legend has our back

There’s nothing like a having a Buffalo Bills great stand with our city against a famous rock star.

Former wide receiver Andre Reed feels like a lot of Bills fans about the prospect of Jon Bon Jovi and his Toronto investors buying the Bills. Consider his quotes in a recent New York magazine article, aptly titled, “Jon Bon Jovi Is the Most Hated Man in Buffalo.”

“Man, (expletive) Bon Jovi!” he said.

Buffalo without the Bills?

“You might as well take this city, throw it in the river, and let it go down Niagara Falls,” Reed said.

Now we can’t reprint Reed’s foul, four-letter expletive, but it fits the frustrated and furious feelings of fuming fans.

As if we needed more reasons to root against Bon Jovi, the magazine article included another detail sure to impress Bills fans: “He’s a Giants fan, and was even standing on the team’s sidelines in 1991, when Bills kicker Scott Norwood missed a game-­winning field goal against the Giants in the Super Bowl.”

Support from the Rust Belt

Jon Bon Jovi may be the most unpopular man in Buffalo, but it seems he’s not universally loved in the Motor City, either.

Buffalo News Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski discovered that upon visiting Detroit this week to see the last will and testament of Ralph C. Wilson Jr., the late founder of the Buffalo Bills.

Zremski was at the Enterprise Rent-a-Car counter in downtown Detroit, and when he mentioned to the clerks that he worked for The Buffalo News, one of the clerks immediately exclaimed: “Tell Bon Jovi to keep his hands off the Bills!”

Bon Jovi fronts a Toronto group that put in a bid for the Bills, saying it would keep the team in Buffalo even though it is, well, a Toronto group.

They could be huge in Toronto

Who says you can’t play Bon Jovi?

Hit N Run, a member of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, might be one of the region’s most popular rock ’n’ roll cover bands. But the group apparently hasn’t received the memo that Buffalo Bills suitor Jon Bon Jovi isn’t well liked in these parts.

Area bars and a few radio stations have stopped playing Bon Jovi’s music since the rocker was reported to be part of a Toronto group trying to buy the Bills.

None of it prevented Hit N Run from belting out the Bon Jovi hit “Who Says You Can’t Go Home?” during a performance last weekend at the St. John Vianney Church Lawn Fete in Orchard Park, just a few miles from Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Talk about a band “Livin’ on a Prayer.”

Luckily, no hostilities ensued. Of course, it was a church crowd. And Andre Reed wasn’t around.

Written by Jill Terreri, with contributions from Jay Tokasz, Sandra Tan and Jerry Zremski. email:

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