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Posted on Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

Anti-Nickelback petition: Creator says he never dreamed it would go so far

By Cindy Heflin


Dennis Guttman with his father, Steve Guttman, at Ford Field in 2010. Guttman said he never dreamed his anti-Nickelback campaign would attract so much attention.

Photo courtesy of Dennis Guttman

Dennis Guttman never expected to be standing in a media spotlight. But so far, the University of Michigan graduate student has been interviewed by ESPN, several CBC outlets, several Detroit television stations and a handful of radio stations.

They all want to talk about one thing: his online petition calling on the NFL to get someone other than Canadian rock band Nickelback for the halftime entertainment of the Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day game against the Green Bay Packers. As of about 2 p.m. Wednesday, the petition had 50,177 signatures.

“I’m shocked. I wasn’t expecting to make news with it,” he said. “I figured it would get a bunch of signatures, but I had no idea it would be this many this fast and have so much news coverage.”

He also was featured during "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"'s "Moment of Zen" feature on Tuesday.

Fortunately, he’s not quite a household name yet, and no one who doesn’t already know him has recognized him on the street yet. “I prefer it that way,” he said.


Nickelback isn't a good choice for the halftime show at the Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day game, Dennis Guttman says.

Guttman learned after he launched his petition that it’s the NFL and the United Way, not the Detroit Lions, who decide who plays at the halftime show, and he noted that the NFL has said the choice for halftime entertainment hasn’t actually been announced, even though the Oakland Press reported Nov. 1 that Nickelback had been selected.

Guttman, an Ann Arbor native, said he’s received lots of attaboys and other positive comments, many from strangers, regarding his petition on his Facebook page. He’s also had some online hate mail from Nickelback fans, he said. Some have called him names, such as Guttless or Buttman. One person wrote: “Dennis you big Dunce! Now how does it feel to have people declare their hate for you!!!”

Guttman said he respects the commercial success Nickelback has achieved, but just doesn’t like the band’s music. “All their songs sort of sound the same. They’re very repetitive, very bland. I think (lead singer) Chad Kroeger sounds like he’s constipated when he sings.”

He said the band’s music doesn’t represent Detroit well. He noted that Ann Arbor native Mayer Hawthorne has offered himself as an alternative to Nickelback, and Guttman said he’d be thrilled with that choice though he acknowledged the NFL is probably looking for someone with more name recognition.

But Guttman said he’d be at the Thanksgiving Day Game regardless of who is the halftime entertainment.

“I definitely love my Detroit Lions more than I don’t like Nickelback.

And once the game’s over, he expects to sink back into anonymity. Guttman, who expects to finish a master’s degree in accounting this spring, said he plans to put the focus back on his studies. “I’m not trying to become a celebrity. I think I have a much more promising career in finance than I would in starting petitions.”

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Moment of Zen - Detroit's anti-Nickelback Petition
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Mark Moore

Sat, Nov 26, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

Check This Motown Tribute To Nickelback --&gt; <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sat, Nov 19, 2011 : 5:20 p.m.

The United Way calls the petition &quot;Distracting and mean-spirited&quot;, praises the band's charitable work:.. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Nov 16, 2011 : 10:59 p.m.

Here's what I would like Dennis to ponder while he's waiting to go to the men's room at halftime during the Lions' game: like every one else, he is free to listen to any kind of music he likes. No matter how much I, or you, or anyone else dislike the music he likes, I will defend his right to enjoy it. I would even encourage him to follow and support the artist he enjoys. What perplexes me, is why he or anyone else would want to stop ANYONE else from hearing the music they like. Nickelback has over 11.5 million fans on facebook and has sold over 50 million albums worldwide. If Dennis had done a little research and checked the numbers (note to Dennis in his future career as an accountant) he would know that, regardless of his own tastes, many millions of fans are looking forward to seeing the band on Thursday. If we follow Dennis' logic, he doesn't want to be made to listen to Nickelback if he doesn't want to. Fair enough. In that case, Dennis should agree that no musical artist should ever play at halftime without the express agreement of everyone present. Is that what you want Dennis? You should think twice before you ever try to &quot;Stop The Music&quot; again. This is book-burning for 2011. Dennis... like what you like, and respect that other people like what THEY like. To try to stop any entertainer from reaching their audience is, quite frankly, un-American. It certainly lacks the spirit of Thanksgiving, sports, or music.


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 4:51 a.m.

Seriously... I would drop the picture. Steve is a very nice and respected man in the community. After reading the article, it appears he has NOTHING to do with the story, yet his picture is out there with the headline. This whole petition thing is fun and entertaining, but in the end it is just silly. Who cares? If I was Steve and had as much riding on my reputation, I would not want to be associated with this nonsense. It is one thing for somebody living the surreal life of a college student to start something like this which was probably light-hearted from the get-go. But grown ups should probably not associate themselves with it.

Russ Gordon

Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 2:50 a.m.

Nickelback? Really? While this Canadian living here in Metro Detroit appreciates a Canadian rock band playing at halftime, we truly believe that the NFL and the United Way could do much better. Our intent here is not to bash nor jump on the hate wagon for Nickelback. There are plenty of folks out there willing to do that and signing the petition to find a new halftime performer. Our message is very simple. If you are going to bring a band from our closest and most friendly neighbouring country into Ford Field to perform at halftime, perhaps do a more thorough job of selecting the right band. There are plenty of talented Canadian bands (find many more here) that would benefit from the exposure of a nationally televised halftime show. We have a couple of suggestions. There's a band from Hamilton, ON (close to DET) called Arkells that are promoting their new album called Michigan Left. The title track is about Detroit. While Arkells have not sold 45 million records since their inception, I bet that the halftime crowd would appreciate the music. If it's a &quot;proven record seller&quot; that the halftime producers want, why not consider the Sam Roberts Band? Here's a band that love Detroit and have played Detroit and wrote the song &quot;Detroit '67.&quot; From a 2009 Detroit Free Press article, Sam explains his fascination with Detroit. &quot;When I was a child we'd take trips in the family station wagon and pass through Detroit on the way to visit an aunt in Indiana. I was always wide-eyed whenever we came across the Ambassador Bridge. It was almost a moment of mythical transformation. One moment you're in Canada and then you see the Motor City skyline and you're in The United States of America. Your world changes completely, and Detroit was like the gateway to that for me.&quot; From <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Tom Todd

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 10:31 p.m.

Everyone's opinion is the Gospel in the internet era.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 9:43 p.m.

Only someone from A2 would suggest Indie entertainment to play at a Detroit Lions game...wonder how many non a2er's would vote for Mayer Hawthorne over Seger, Ryder, Kid, Eminem, et al?


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 9:25 p.m.

Repetitive and bland? Sounds like today's popular music.


Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 8:53 p.m.

The Thanksgiving game has halftime entertainment? I guess either food was ready or like the Superbowl, the channel was changed until the 3rd Quarter started. Go Lions!

Roy Munson

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 8:35 p.m.

Where was all this outrage when Jesse McCartney played halftime 3 years ago???

Roy Munson

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 8:36 p.m.

or the Goo Goo Dolls the year before that!

John of Saline

Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 8:34 p.m.

Bob Seger? Mitch Ryder? There are lots of locals to choose from.