FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- In a unique moment in the history of New England Patriots games played at Gillette Stadium (2002-17), seemingly everyone in attendance at Sunday night's AFC Championship Game sang along as Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" played during the second half of the team's victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
What made the moment unique was the fact that Jon Bon Jovi was at the stadium, watching the game from a private box with tight end Rob Gronkowski, and he was shown on the video board urging everyone to sing along.
That led to the following exchange on coach Bill Belichick's standard day-after-game conference call:
Were you aware of the moment that Bon Jovi had on the JumboTron last night where he sang his hit "Living on a Prayer" with the Gillette Stadium crowd, and if so what was your reaction?
BB: Yeah, I was definitely aware of it. Jon, I mean I’ve heard him play that song dozens of times, but he had the place rocking, maybe a little more than we did. Yeah, pretty impressive. He’s a great friend, been a great friend for a long time all the way back into the '80s. We’ve shared a lot of great moments together, including the 1990 Super Bowl [with the Giants] in Tampa where he was in the locker room after the game still taking crazy pictures and stuff like that; great memories from there. It was great to have Jon here and I always appreciate his great support. Yeah, it was quite a moment, one that you usually don’t see at a professional football game. It was special.
How did you and Jon Bon Jovi initially meet and become friends in the first place?
BB: Well, Jon is a big Giants fan. He grew up in New Jersey, so when I was coaching the Giants. We had a lot in common. We both liked the Giants.
Was he just a frequent visitor at practice? Would Bill Parcells be the one to invite him over?
BB: Yeah, you know, I don’t think Bill was a big Bon Jovi fan or Bruce Springsteen fan or anything like that. It wasn’t exactly his musical style at that point in time. Some of the younger coaches on the staff, one in particular, connected to him. [Punter Sean] Landeta was another one. Sean and Jon and I, we’ve done a few things together. Yeah, back to the Jersey-Giants days.
That was my hard-hitting question of the day.
BB: Yeah, that X’s and O’s question there on Jon and "Living on a Prayer," Mike [Reiss]. That’s not like the coin-toss question we had last night.
I could tell you liked that one.
BB: You’ve got a lot of variety. That’s good. It keeps me on my toes.
Just like your offense.