Being co-owner of the Soul is much more than just a simple financial investment for Jon Bon Jovi, and the rock star's passion for the struggling team was evident late Saturday in a crowded hallway at the Wachovia Center.
Minutes after the Soul lost to the Kansas City Brigade, 53-41, for the team's fifth consecutive defeat, Bon Jovi held an impassioned impromptu news conference, allowing his frustration over the team's rash of injuries and losses to boil over.
"Right now, we are playing with half our football team," Bon Jovi said. "We are the best team in this league, but we just have to get healthy."
The Soul (4-5) have played nearly four games without quarterback Tony Graziani, who is out with a shoulder sprain. Graziani must sit out at least one more game, and there is no guarantee he will be able to return from the injured list when he is eligible May 21.
Linebacker-receiver Sean Scott missed Saturday's game and will be out at least three more with a hamstring injury.
Hamstring injuries also kept receiver Larry Brackins and defensive back Mike Brown out for their third and fourth games, respectively.
"Nobody is giving up hope. The coaches haven't given up hope, and I am not giving up hope," Bon Jovi said. "We have to get healthy."
Bon Jovi, who prides himself on his relationship with the Eagles, talked about the presence Saturday of Eagles president Joe Banner, along with New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft. In the past, Bon Jovi has expressed a desire to have the Eagles involved in ownership of the team.
The Soul have sought medical help from the Eagles.
"The Eagles have been helping us out with the training staff," Bon Jovi said. "Our coaches are keeping a good frame of mind, and everybody is playing their heart out."
With seven games remaining, the Soul are very much in the playoff race. Last year's league champion, Chicago, qualified for the playoffs with a 7-9 record, so anything is possible.
"We are not losing faith, and I don't want to lose face with anybody here in town," Bon Jovi said. "We are trying desperately and have not lost faith in the organization. Trust me, we are trying."