The L.A. KISS wins its inaugural game at Honda Center as fans of arena football and the namesake rock band embrace both the spectacle and the sport.
By James Barragan
By the time two of the L.A. KISS' star players were lowered from the Honda Center ceiling during introductions for the team's home opener, the team's fans were ready to rock and roll all night and party every down.
Behind four touchdowns from wide receiver Donovan Morgan and a league-record six sacks in one game for Beau Bell, the KISS won its first game at its home venue in Anaheim, 44-34, in front of 12,045 fans. The victory improved the KISS' record to 2-1 while setting a league record of 11 team sacks in one game. The night was a complete rock and roll event. From the national anthem played on an electric guitar, to the bikini-clad dancers suspended in midair throughout the game to fans walking around in KISS makeup and flame orange Mohawk wigs.
Before the first down was played fans had already seen indoor fireworks, a laser show and a performance by heavy metal band Steel Panther.
"We wanted a football team, but this is a different type of football," said John Richards, 47, of Menifee, who for more than 30 years has been a fan of the rock band that inspired the arena football team's name. "This is KISS football."
There was even a special appearance by Motorhead lead singer, Lemmy, who performed the pregame coin toss.
"We're expecting craziness. Total craziness," said George Warner, 48, of Brea, who along with his wife, Yolanda, was one of the first people in line outside of Honda Center before the doors opened. "That's the KISS way."
With tickets to a KISS concert included in the season-ticket deal, the rock band name was a big draw for many of the fans in attendance.
"I think 95% are KISS fans and 5% know something about arena football," said Richards, who received season tickets from his wife as an early birthday gift. "If it would have been L.A. anything else, I wouldn't have been here. I wouldn't have known anything was going on."