Famous Fin Fan: Jon Bon Jovi

Posted Nov 1, 2011

Jon Bon Jovi may be best known as the founder and lead singer of rock band Bon Jovi, which was named after him, but there is more to this football fanatic than just music. Bon Jovi was one of the founders and the primary owner of the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League. In 2008, they finished 13-3 and won their first ArenaBowl championship, defeating the San Jose SaberCats, 59–56, in ArenaBowl XXII.

Throughout his career, Bon Jovi has released two solo albums and 11 studio albums with his band, which to date have sold over 130 million albums worldwide. The band was declared the second-richest band for 2011, behind only U2. As a solo artist, Bon Jovi has received numerous awards for his work, including a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination for his solo hit, “Blaze of Glory.” He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Monmouth University in 2001. Bon Jovi is also White House counsel; in 2010 he was appointed by President Obama to solve problems in poor communities in the United States.

How far back does your love of football go?

Bon Jovi: I played football when I was young. I started in Pop Warner football when I was little and then played again once I got to junior high school. That’s when I realized I wasn’t big enough for football. In Pop Warner, weight class was the key. I was a little linebacker, the defensive captain. When I didn’t make weight (95 pounds) the day before the first game, they sent me up to the “Midgets” and that weight group was for kids all the way up to 120 pounds! I was too small. So I sat on the bench, hoping to play second-string tackle. Then in eighth grade when I started junior high, I decided, I’ll give it another shot … but it wasn’t happening. Thank God I found music!

What are your earliest memories as a football fan?

Bon Jovi: As a spectator, I can’t remember not being involved in football. My earliest memory is of the Miami Dolphins, Bob Griese and the Miami Dolphins — first losing the Super Bowl, then going back and winning the Super Bowl. I remember writing on my football in chalk — “Griese’s Gang.”

Why were you a fan of the Dolphins?

Bon Jovi: As a kid, the appeal of the Miami Dolphins hit home with me — they were larger than life. I just loved the Dolphins. Griese, Paul Warfield, Mercury Morris, Jim Kiick, Larry Csonka, Nick Buoniconti and the head coach was still Don Shula then. I remember it to this day. I could probably still rattle off exactly where each one of them went to college, what positions they played, their stats — they were my team when I was very young.
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