The members of Boyz II Men are from Philadelphia, but they don’t fly with the Eagles. Founding member Nate Morris is an avid San Francisco 49ers fan.
Blame, or credit, a schoolyard bully and the Dallas Cowboys.
“When I was a kid, in about fifth grade, there was a kid who used to beat me up all the time,” Morris said during a phone chat last week, days after the vocal group sang the national anthem at the NFC Championship game at Santa Clara’s Levi Stadium. “He would take my lunch, stuff like that. One day he came to school and was really angry. I asked a friend of mine why he was so mad, and he said, ‘The Cowboys played last night on Monday Night Football and they lost.’”
Morris asked who they played, and it was the 49ers.
“I said, ‘OK. I’m going there,’ and I’ve been a Niner fan ever since,” Morris said. “It was like the saying, ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend.’”
Morris says he feels the 49ers can take the Chiefs out with their stellar running attack.
“If we get the running game going, we’ll be OK,” Morris said. “I like Jimmy G. (Garoppolo), but I get a little afraid when the ball’s in his hands for a long time.”
Morris also said he is wary of the Chiefs’ seemingly unstoppable offense, led by QB Patrick Mahomes.
“It’s like that Patriots-Rams game Super Bowl (in 2002), when the Rams had The Greatest Show on Turf,” Morris said. “A great defense can shut down a great offense.”
Since this conversation, Boyz II Men have performed at the Grammy Awards show. Host Alicia Keys was joined by Morris, Wanya Morris and Shawn Stockman to pay tribute to Kobe Bryant with a scaled-down cover of “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to yesterday.”
The group returns to its residency at The Mirage on March 13. They opened at The Mirage in March 2013.
“Life is good,” Morris said. “We love Las Vegas. We’re going to stay until they say they don’t want us, and that hasn’t happened yet.”
Goss on the prowl
Matt Goss toured Caesars Palace on Monday, reviewing some spaces other than his former home of Cleopatra’s Barge. Goss spent 6½ years at the moated enclave before moving to 1 Oak Nightclub at The Mirage in early December 2017.
A 10-year headliner in Las Vegas, Goss is booked on Sundays at 1 Oak through the end of April, but the venue is shutting down nightclub operations (and reportedly shedding the 1 Oak name) on March 28.
Over the weekend, Goss also recorded a cover of Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You” with Kenny “Babyface” Edmunds, headlining at the hotel at Terry Fator Theater.
And, comic headliner Ron White was the house Sunday night. White, a recurring headliner in “Aces of Comedy” at the Fator Theater, wound up singing harmony on “Hotel California.” Call it a one-off.
Dionne to present?
Dionne Warwick was the superstar guest on “The Talk” on Monday afternoon. The topic of Whitney Houston’s upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame came up, and co-host Marie Osmond asked who would induct Houston. Warwick, cousin of the late vocal great, said, “Everyone thinks it should be me,” to applause. She added, “But, I don’t know whose decision it is, I really don’t.”
Warwick has been announcing Houston’s induction during her shows at Cleopatra’s Barge. “Guess who has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? My illustrious cousin.” She joked she would introduce Houston, “But I need to see if Caesars is going to let me off that night.”
As expected, Brian Newman has extended at NoMad Restaurant. Lady Gaga’s bandleader, who wields the trumpet and sings to great effect, is performing a dozen dates from April 30-May 16. Newman’s wife, Angie Pontani, is also returning to the late-night hangs, which start at 11:30 p.m. and start just after Lady Gaga’s “Enigma” and “Jazz + Piano” shows.
Newman got a nice bump in publicity as a featured artist in the new “What Happens Here, Only Happens Here” Vegas tourism campaign. He has a look the city can promote, and so does NoMad.
It’s worth noting that Terry Bradshaw hedged his bets, as we say, in his predictions for the NFC Championship game. He told me in a phone interview Jan. 14 he liked the 49ers as a home-field favorite. But on game day during the “Fox NFL Sunday” telecast on Jan. 19, he picked the Packers. Whichever. The adept prognosticator and four-time Super Bowl champ is back at Luxor on March 19.
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 Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.