Saturday, February 27, 2010

ESPN To Air KISS Piece Sunday


CADILLAC - The enduring story of how one of the world’s most outrageous rock bands helped relight the spark of a flagging Cadillac Viking football team will be told once again as ESPN airs a segment about the Vikings on SportsCenter.

Former football coach Jim Neff, who made the suggestion that rock music might bring the football team out of a slump in 1974, said producers have told him a five- to eight-minute piece will air on "SportsCenter" at 10 a.m. and again at 11 p.m. Sunday.

In 1974, Cadillac High School Vikings football coach Dave Brines bought assistant coach Neff’s idea to play KISS records in the locker room to get the players pumped up for the game. The Vikings had opened their season with back-to-back losses after going undefeated the previous season. The rock music, along with some line-up changes, helped the team win the rest of their games and intrigued the members of KISS enough to lure them to Cadillac the next season, when they took part in homecoming festivities, met with students, played a concert in the high school gym and shared breakfast with elected officials.

ESPN crews visited Cadillac three times last fall to interview a number of people who remember the event including Neff, Brines, and players on the 1975 team including Mayor Bill Barnett, John Coffell and Harry Hagstrom. Also interviewed were Milissa Codden-Holmes, a cheerleader in 1975, and Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS.

"I’m as curious as everyone else as to how it will turn out," Neff said.

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