Toronto fans have been living on a prayer since 1967, so it should come as no surprise that they love Bon Jovi.
And boy, do they love Bon Jovi. Love him. The star of the star of National Lampoon's Pucked! and his rock band has made 17 appearances at the Air Canada Centre, selling over 600,000 tickets, more than any band in the history of the building. In 2008, they sold out five ACC shows on one tour, which is a record.
Another thing Toronto loves? Hanging banners. (They're like hockey's version of the Bluth family.) And thus, it should come as no surprise that Bon Jovi will soon become the first rock band to get a banner in the Air Canada Centre.
Move over, Doug Gilmour, Mats Sundin and Syl Apps. Bon Jovi's in the house. From the Toronto Star:
The banner will be unfurled Nov. 2, the same day that Bon Jovi, here for a two-night gig, becomes the first inductee into the ACC’s new wall of fame.
“(The wall) really is showing a piece of the ACC’s history so that fans can see some of the significant achievements in the building,” said Wayne Zronik, vice-president of live entertainment for the ACC.
A banner. Seriously. It'll be there for you. Those five words I swear to you.
This is weird. Normally, those spots in the rafters are reserved for hockey players. Admittedly, Jon Bon Jovi would probably have gotten a shot on Mats Sundin's wing in the 90s, but it's still a little odd to see them giving banners to musicians now. That's a bad precedent, especially considering Miley Cyrus's noted contributions to the Leafs' strong start. If they keep winning, does she get one? And if so, will they put it uncomfortably close to King Clancy?
Kudos to Tim Leiweke on this one. After catching enough flak that he reversed course after his attempts to turn down the focus on the Leafs' historic past, the Leafs executive has clearly opted for the next best thing: cheapening that past. Because I'm sure Johnny Bower will love sharing rafter space with Ally McBeal's plumber boyfriend.
When reached for comment by the Star, Bon Jovi's manager said a bunch of lame platitudes about Canada, because that's what band managers are paid to do. "(Canadian fans are) very loyal, they’re great fans and they love Bon Jovi. I couldn’t tell you what it is,” he told the Star. “There’s just that something.”
I would argue "that something" is the stupidity to hang a Bon Jovi banner in your hockey arena.
Granted, while it will undoubtedly look ridiculous up there, so does that lonely Toronto Raptors Division champions banner.
Keep The Faith, Toronto. You've taken your Bad Medicine. One day, you'll go down in a Blaze of Glory. Something something Bon Jovi song name something.