Saturday, May 28, 2011

Elway: The Name Game

I detest Colorado professional sports clubs, and my dislike runs the entire gamut, Avalanche, Rapids, Rockies and Nuggets.  However I save my most hateful thoughts for Colorado's original pro team, the braying donkeys of Mile High, or as their fans call them The Broncos. As a life long Raider fan, I can't even begin to tell you how much suffering that horse faced s.o.b. John Elway has caused me. Which is why this story caught my eye,  with the NFL lockout still at an impasse John Elway, Broncos vice president, met not with new head coach John Fox or owner Pat Bowen, but with his own lawyer. It seems that John found out that the Ft. Collins, Co.  punk band formerly known as 10-4 Eleanor changed its name to Elway. That was not cool with John Elway and through his lawyer he requested that the band change its name, although he has not issued a cease and desist order or threaten court action.
The band for their part are not running scared, instead they issued this statement: "We have no intention of changing the name again. We love the name, regardless of what connotations are inferred by the listener. Surely, if the Dead Kennedys could become one of punk's most popular bands without incurring litigation, Elway can keep their moniker and continue making so-so music for our dozens of fans to enjoy." Elway..the band, has now received more press and notoriety than they could ever imagine, thank you Mr. John Elway.  The band picked the name after deciding that their previous moniker 10-4 Eleanor was "terrible" Andy Thomas of Westword magazine profiled the band just after the name change "The Elway name has "tongue-in-cheek connotations," Thomas writes,  "it does give them a little head start." unless Mr. Ed drags them into court, then it becomes a financial burden that will drag the group down. Elway the band, vocalist/guitarist Tim Browne's added this "Of course, any Coloradoan worth their salt might point out the absurdity of Mr. Elway's insistence on legally strong-arming a virtually unknown punk band rather than focusing his attention on mending the badly broken Denver Broncos, but that's a whole different issue."
While John Elway seems hell bent on defending his "good name" he's also shamelessly cashing in on his fame. Mr. Elway recently joined the board of Nude Vodka, a Colorado company. As part of a promotional deal, every bottle of vodka sold in Colorado had a number on the label. This past April numbers were drawn randomly with the winner receiving an invitation to meet and spend time with Elway, the man. The winner also had his picture taken with John Elway who put his hoof print on their winning bottle. John Elway has never been one to back away from any endorsement deals. Some recent developments have made improved cash flow a priority for the former Super Bowl MVP.  Elway has been in financial straits ever since he became the victim of a classic Ponzi scheme. The scam which lured in new investors to pay off old ones, left suckers like Elway with losses totaling 71 million dollars. Neither Elway nor the Denver D.A.'s office have commented on the amount that Elway invested and presumably lost.  In light of this maybe John should reconsider and embrace the band, the connotations can't be any worse than Nude Vodka.