Jon Bon Jovi is part of a Toronto-based group seeking to buy the Buffalo Bills and move them over the border. As you’d suspect, many rabid fans in Upstate New York aren’t particularly thrilled with the development — including Hall of Famer Andre Reed.
Reed’s meeting with the “Buffalo Fan Alliance” is chronicled in a wonderful New York Magazine piece. The wide receiving great pulls no punches and is seemingly on a mission to craft the most compelling sound bytes known to man.
“Man, fuck Bon Jovi!” Reed said. “You might as well just take this city, throw it in the river, and let it go down Niagara Falls.”
Whoa. “Fuck Bon Jovi” is not a thing a person often hears outside of a drunken slur near a karaoke machine. Saying something like that was punishable by death up until a few years ago along the Eastern Seaboard.
But his animosity is understandable considering the fact the Jersey boy is trying to pack up everything Reed built and go international with it.
Then Reed focused his anger on a different, less important person in his life.
“To have a native son make a conscious decision to return there is awesome”—and depressed others. “We were the new Pittsburgh, until LeBron went back to Cleveland,” said Michael Culmo, the lead singer of a cover band that had joined the boycott. On a large screen behind the bar, ESPN was broadcasting a tweet from the Cleveland Browns’ jet-setting rookie, Johnny Manziel, referring to James as “my guy.”
“Who the fuck is Johnny Manziel?” Reed asked. “LeBron ain’t your guy! You’re not ‘Johnny Football.’ You’re ‘Johnny Rookie Bitch.’ ” Reed said he didn’t think a blue-collar town like Buffalo, which he thought wears an even truer shade of denim than Cleveland, would stand for Manziel’s antics. “They’d boo that motherfucker outta here,” he said. “The fans would put him in his place.”
Now, Reed’s ability to catch real and Tecmo Super Bowl passes is beyond reproach. But what did Manziel ever do to him except steal some attention? Reed and Mercury Morris should get together and have an angry get-off-my-lawn sale.
The former Bills great would later show just how passionate he is about keeping the team stateside.
“Now, I ain’t gonna lie to you,” Reed said. “One year I went up to Toronto, and man, I had a good-ass time up there.”
“Off the record,” Sabuda said.
“Off the record—I had a great time,” Reed said. When I asked if he would continue being a part of the franchise as he had in Buffalo, he paused, then admitted that his allegiance to the city wasn’t ironclad: “If they paid me.”
Yes! You have to love the honesty.
The entire first page of this story could serve as the textbook for Interview Subjects 101.
The rest of the piece is pretty good, too, if you’re not deathly afraid of longform.
[Via New York Magazine]
[Image via Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports]