Jon Bon Jovi tried showing Buffalo a little love over the weekend, but in response, Bills fans seem to be collectively screeching: “You give love a bad name.”
A day after The Buffalo News published an open letter to Bills fans in which Bon Jovi said the Toronto-based group he fronts would be committed to keeping the team in Buffalo, it was clear that many Bills fans looked at the shaggy-maned rocker’s missive as nothing but a shaggy dog story.
“At no point in his nice letter does he say he’s not moving the team from Buffalo,” said Matt Sabuda, president of the Buffalo Fan Alliance.
Charles Pellien, a co-founder of Bills Fan Thunder, agreed, saying the letter “leaves too much wiggle room.”
“As the process of finding a new owner for the Buffalo Bills moves forward, one thing is clear – the Bills belong in Western New York,” Cuomo said. “I have been in touch with the NFL and the team’s potential buyers to make sure this message is heard, and I will continue to work with all interested parties until the sale is finalized.”
Maple Leaf Sports has worked on bringing an NFL team to Toronto, but Bon Jovi said in his letter that’s not why he is interested in buying the Bills.
“Our objective is simple: to carry on the legacy of Ralph Wilson and make the Bills successful in Buffalo,” he wrote. “We are committed to working with the State, City, County and business community to identify the best possible site in the Buffalo area for a new stadium and to then develop and implement a plan to finance and build a state-of-the-art NFL stadium for the loyal Bills fans.”
Seeing that, the Buffalo Fan Alliance said the Bon Jovi group ought to go one step further and agree to waive the clause in the Bills lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium that for one year, in 2020, allows the team to leave town for a mere $28.4 million penalty – far short of the $400 million penalty in other years of the 10-year lease.
“If they are sincere in their commitment to Buffalo, we would ask them to enter into a binding pre-purchase agreement with the state and county whereby they would agree to proactively waive the one-year buyout clause in the seventh year of the current lease if they were to successfully purchase the team,” the group said in a statement.
“If they are truly committed to Buffalo, such an escape clause would not be necessary for them anyway and this would be a simple and demonstrable first step of their sincerity for keeping the team in Western New York,” the group added.
Pellien – whose group has collected more than 12,000 signatures on a petition where people vow to never follow the team again if it leaves Western New York – said he agrees with the Buffalo Fan Alliance’s suggestion and thinks Bon Jovi’s letter was deliberately vague.
“My opinion is that this is just like a politician saying what he needs to say to get elected,” Pellien said. “He’s saying what he needs to say to get his hands on our team.”
Fans who commented on Bon Jovi’s letter on the Buffalo News website were not very impressed by it, either.
“This whole Bon Jovi quote smells like five-day old fish,” one commentator wrote.
“‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky’,” another wrote in a reference to President Bill Clinton’s parsed denial of an affair that he had with a White House intern.
Nevertheless, in his letter, Bon Jovi seemed to be reprising one of his greatest hits, telling Bills fans: I’ll be there for you.
“I know how much the Bills mean to the people of this region,” he wrote. “So I want you to hear this from me: I’m not risking it all to let you down. If we are given the chance to be the next owners of the Buffalo Bills, I promise you that we will bring the same passion that you do every Sunday, every day.”
But Bills Fan Thunder replied with some bad medicine for the middle-aged rocker. The group sent out a meme that pictured a herd of sheep – fronted by a wolf in sheep’s clothing, who was identified as Jon Bon Jovi.