During the first half of the Alabama-Michigan Rose Bowl/College Football Playoff semifinal, the Crimson Tide’s band played “Mr. Brightside.”
As the song started, NFL Network broadcaster Rich Eisen’s 12-year-old son, Cooper, turned to his father and said, “Dad, they’re playing our song.”
Eisen responded, “OK, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they don’t know. But deep down I’m like, ‘What the hell?’ I guess The Killers are for everyone.”
Eisen is a Michigan grad who is glowing with a blue hue as his team plays the Washington Huskies for the national championship on Monday night. The Killers are his family’s favorite band. And in a moment of destiny, “Mr. Brightside” has been the Wolverines’ unofficial fight song.
Released as a single from the band’s 2004 debut album, “Hot Fuss,” “Mr. Brightside” was not intended to be a sports anthem. This is not “We Are The Champions.”
“Mr. Brightside was the first song the band ever wrote, based on the true story of Brandon Flowers discovering his girlfriend was cheating on him at around the age of 20 (this episode unfolded at the Vegas tavern institution Crown & Anchor Pub).
But Michigan’s football operations team has seized the song, premiering it at the Wisconsin game on Oct. 1, 2016 (a 14-7 Wolverines victory).
According to the MLive media site, the song was returned in 2017 to jack up fans in the same way Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” was played at Michigan Stadium. “Brightside” caught on and has been played at every Michigan home game except for the pandemic-restricted 2020 season. The marching band plays the song, and the original track is also played on the PA system.
How Eisen figures into this is his obvious devotion to his alma mater (it seems he can’t finish a sentence without mentioning The Big House), his fandom of The Killers, and the fact that he has become a huge fan of Vegas since working the NFL Draft in April 2022.
The Eisens saw the band play Banc of California in L.A. in August of that year.
“We love them, they are awesome, they are my wife’s (sports journalist and journalist radio personality Suzy Shuster’s) favorite band,” Eisen said. “They are, with Coldplay, very up-there in our household. They are revered.”
At the Rose Bowl, Michigan’s band answered the Alabama rendition with a quick version of their own.
“The next time out on the field, the Michigan marching band started playing The Killers and it came over the loudspeaker,” Eisen said. “The Michigan fans really got into it and, hey, we came back to win the game. So let’s give it up for Mr. Flowers and the rest of the band for bringing us home.”
No split ticket here
Word from the scene is the bill for the Raiders’ rookie party at Carversteak at Resorts World on Dec. 14 was a bit over $37,000, for a party of 15. This included an $11,000 bottle of Dom. Service charge (gratuity) was $8,000, tax $2,200.
The espresso martini shots had red “63” design in the white froth, honoring the 63-21 drubbing of the Chargers that night.
Beast Mode declined to make a prediction about who would win or play in the Super Bowl next month.
But Marshawn Lynch does have a rooting interest.
“If it isn’t my Raiders and my Seahawks, I’l love to see my cousin Josh win it.” That’s in reference to Ravens backup QB Josh Johnson. Lynch and Johnson attended high school at Oakland Tech.
Last year with the 49ers, Johnson backed up Brock Purdy in the NFC Championship Game (only to be sidelined with a concussion). The 37-year-old signal caller has played for 14 teams, the most by any player ever in the NFL.
He tends to draw crowds
A-list filmmaker and Mark Wahlberg was back at his bar-tending best on Friday. The busy Las Vegas entrepreneur poured his Flecha Azul tequila Friday at Distill and Remedy’s Tavern in at Downtown Summerlin.
The event was to introduce the brand to the Summerlin hotspot, the first tavern in Las Vegas to offer the tequila. It has been explained to me that all of these other places to serve Flecha Azul are not taverns.
Time to animate
The former Body English/Magic Mike Live Theater space at Virgin Hotel has been an oft-discussed spot since the hotel’s ownership change from Hard Rock three years ago. There are three concepts being reviewed, all nightlife projects. The hotel needs late-night entertainment options, and that spot was built for such.
Cool Hang Alert
The city’s terrific yacht rock band The Windjammers return to Rocks Lounge at Red Rock Resort at 9 p.m. Friday. No cover, must be 21-over, and feel the mist off the ocean to Hall & Oates, Michael McDonald, Toto and more, much more.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.