Foxboro — The Saints and Patriots are holding practices in advance of tomorrow night's preseason game at Gillette Stadium, and one of the special invitees to practice was rock star Jon Bon Jovi, a close friend of Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
Turns out Bon Jovi also knows Saints head coach Sean Payton; the two met nearly 10 years ago when Payton was a Giants' assistant and Bon Jovi would often visit the team. In fact, it was at a Bon Jovi concert in 2006 when Payton got the word that he'd been hired to be the Saints' coach.
"[Saints general manager] Mickey Loomis called me and my wife and I were at Bon Jovi's concert in Dallas," said Payton, a former Cowboys assistant under Bill Parcells. "I had to step out into the hallway to hear Mickey offer me the job. [After] coming back in, my wife asked, 'Are we going?' I said, 'Yeah, we're going.'"
But not before a trip backstage to visit with Bon Jovi.
"He's one of those guys when you have a chance to meet him backstage and you're with your wife, there's a chance you might not go home with your wife," Payton cracked. "She's not afraid to voice that opinion to you, either."
Payton was asked if he planned to give Bon Jovi a tryout with the Saints, much like he did in 2007 with country music sensation Kenny Chesney. Payton, a good friend of Chesney, invited the singer to practice with the team and then announced afterward the Saints had signed him to a contract.
Slight problem with Bon Jovi.
"He pulled his calf muscle at one of his shows, so I don't know if he could pass a physical today," Payton said.