PROMISE TO PUT ON A SHOW
September 18, 2013
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By Vincent Bonsignore, Los Angeles Daily News

No seriously, I told my wife Tuesday morning. I really do have to go to the House of Blues on Sunset for a press conference announcing the newest football coach for L.A.’s newest professional football team.

“And Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley from KISS figure into all this how, again?”

“They own the L.A. KISS the football team I was telling you about.” I told her.

The skepticism hanging in the air was stifling at this point.

“You know I have the Daily News app, right?” my wife reminded me. “If that story doesn’t show up on your site by tonight you’re in big trouble. I got my eye on you, buddy.”

Welcome to my world, where L.A.’s various entertainment boulevards sometimes cross at the most curious intersections.

And how sometimes explaining your work day and whereabouts to your wife sounds like a precursor to the “Jerry Springer Show.”

Tuesday being a prime example, as professional football was ushered back to Los Angeles by the two front men of one of the most iconic rock bands in music history.

Sounds about right.

I mean, of course Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley would buy an Arena Football League team, name them the KISS, situate them in Los Angeles and welcome new coach Bill McMillen to town at a press conference on Sunset Boulevard where a strange brew of sports reporters, TV personalities and scantily clad beautiful women would gather at a bar at the House of Blues.

All that was missing was Tim Tebow, the banished NFL quarterback who KISS has mounted a very public pursuit of.

Here is guessing the notoriously virtuous Tebow would have been a bit uneasy in the dimly lit settings Tuesday – kind of how he looks dropping back to throw a football, come to think of it.

As for me, I loved every second of it.

It was zany and campy and a bit off the grind, but that’s the allure of the whole thing.

And while I might not rush out to see a KISS game, consider me intrigued enough by the Simmons and Stanley presentation Tuesday to be sure to check them out from time to time.

They were honest, making no qualms about the fact they want to bring an entertainment value to football in an affordable way that embraces the everyday fan who might not have the means to afford the NFL experience.

And they want to have fun doing it, and flip that fun right back on their fans.

“This is about football, and why no embellish it,” Stanley said. “At the heart of it is a big engine and that’s football. And where going to paint it up.”

Simmons agreed.

“This is an opportunity, not just for us and not just for the L.A. KISS but for Arena Football and for Los Angeles to have a football team, finally. And we’re proud to be here.”

And apparently willing to spend some money ensuring a winning product.

Simmons and Stanley have partnered up with longtime Orlando Predators managing partner Brett Bouchy to form the KISS, and in McMillen they are bringing in a longtime former AFL player and coach and a member of the AFL Hall of Fame.

McMillen was the AFL Coach of the Year in 2013 with the Chicago Rush.

Simmons and Stanley promised they will give both men ample room to do their jobs with little interference on the football side of things.

“The great thing about putting a great team together is you respect the people who have the experience in that area,” Stanley said. “I don’t think Bret or Bob will help us write any songs. They put their guitars away and while we’re not going to be out there on the field we’re going to be behind the scenes making sure that this runs to the same standard of KISS.”

And they plan to bring their celebrated KISS – the band kind – touch to their new venture.

With a keen eye on entertainment, affordability and showmanship.

“It’s a miracle to some people on the outside but the reason the band has lasted this long is because we never lost sight that we were the people in the audience who saw we weren’t getting what we deserved,” Stanley said. “We’re now getting up and saying this is what you deserve in sports. So we’re upping the game. That’s our contribution to this, making sure people get what they deserve.”

And sometimes that means an afternoon at the House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard.

Seriously.