KISS legends Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley announced in August 2013 that they had purchased a share of a new, expansion team in the Arena Football League that would be based in Anaheim at the Honda Center.
KISS wide receiver Donovan “Captain” Morgan strikes a pose after scoring a touchdown in the 40-30 loss to the Cleveland Gladiators earlier this season. Morgan leads the KISS this season with 36 receptions for 475 yards and 11 touchdowns. Photo by Michael Grennell
“As a fast paced, high action band, this partnership with the AFL was an obvious fit for us,” Simmons said during the announcement at the Arena Bowl XXVI Media Day. “With arena football, you are much closer to the action. Sitting in the front row is like putting a folding chair on the hash mark of an NFL game, and it’s one of the only sports where you can experience this level of intensity.”
The KISS is the first professional football team in the Los Angeles area since the Los Angeles Avengers arena football team shut down operations in 2009, following the cancellation of the 2009 Arena Football League season.
The team began to assemble its roster in September, when they participated in the dispersal draft of the now defunct Chicago Rush and Utah Blaze. The KISS traded its first pick in the draft to the Iowa Barnstormers and received its current starting quarterback, J.J. Raterink. With its second pick, the KISS selected wide receiver Chase Deadder, who they later traded to the New Orleans VooDoo for Donovan Morgan, the team’s leading receiver.
After former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow declined a three year contract with the KISS, the KISS signed former Saddleback College quarterback Colt Brennan to the team. Brennan, the Gaucho single season completion percentage record holder, had been slated to be the back up quarterback for the KISS, but in March, it was announced that Brennan had been cut from the team due to a previously undiagnosed traumatic brain injury he received in a car crash in 2010.
“We don’t want to put someone’s life in jeopardy,” KISS team president Schuyler Hoversten said when announcing the team’s decision. “We aren’t going to gamble with someone else’s life like that.”