For over 20 years the Super Bowl, the biggest American sporting event, has used the game’s halftime show to feature outdated, “safe” acts that are rarely offensive. (Who didn’t roll their eyes when the Anaheim High School Drill Team preformed during Super Bowl I, am I right?) And the practice needs to end. Soon.
Here’s a short list of outdated and “safe” acts that have graced the Halftime Show:
Super Bowl XXII, 1988: Chubby Checker
Super Bowl XXVI, 1992: Gloria Estafan
Super Bowl XXVII, 1993: Michael Jackson
Super Bowl XXVII, 1994: The Judds
Super Bowl XXVIII, 1995: Tony Bennet
Super Bowl XXX, 1996: Diana Ross
Super Bowl XXXI, 1997: ZZ Top, James Brown
Super Bowl XXXII, 1998: Boys II Men
Super Bowl XXXIII, 1999: Gloria Estafan (again!), Stevie Wonder
Super Bowl XXXIV, 2000: Phil Collins
Super Bowl XXXVII, 2003: Sting
Super Bowl XXXVIII, 2004: Janet Jackson, Janet Jackson’s weird nipple-clipped boob
Super Bowl XXXIX, 2005: Paul McCartney
Super Bowl XL, 2006: The Rolling Stones
Super Bowl XLI, 2007: Prince (toned down, given religion and losing most of the sexy)
Super Bowl XLII, 2008: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Super Bowl XLIII, 2009: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
And now, introducing our new inductee that promises not to offend or confuse any viewer:
Once treated as a dangerous, insane band, The Who are now old men.
And they’re now just Pete Townshend and Roger Daltry. They’re sober. They eat right. There may be explosions during the show, but rest assured that they will be handled by professionals, and not a drunk Keith Moon.
So, what the fuck is the point of having The Who then?
Because out of all those artists listed above, how many do you like at least one song of, or could hum at least one song? Each and every one of them. And when you get into The Stones, Bruce, Tom, Paul and Prince: We all like them. Those guys all rock and anyone saying different is a liar who should be dressed like a wolf and set free near Sarah Palin.
We all like these artists because these peeps crank out the hits. One wrote “Satisfaction.” Another wrote “Purple Rain.” Good lord, Paul McCartney was a Beatle. These aren’t some namby-pamby one-hit-wonders. These cats are destined for a prolonged superstardom even in death. But they’re all old acts. All of them. No one watching has to see something too new, something they could describe as “the shit the kids listen to now-a-days…”
That’s my issue here. There are very few instances of featuring even newish acts in the Super Bowl. In 2001 at Super Bowl XXXV Britney Spears performed–but with Aerosmith. Justin Timberlake performed in 2004–but with Janet Jackson and her boob. Whenever there is something new, it is curbed with something old and safe…or at least that’s attempted.
What if we did this in other events, or in the game itself?
Bob Costas: “All right we’re about to start here in Dolphin Stadium here in beautiful Miami, Florida. Football fans over 50 will be glad to see that for the first few snaps the Steelers are starting Joe Namath as an ode to Super Bowl III, we assume Ben Rothlisberger will be starting after that followed by a cameo by Joe Montana for a critical 3rd down early in the 2nd half.”
I’m not asking for the Decemberists to play, but why not Wilco? How about Kayne West?
The NFL has allowed Up with People to perform four times, dammit! I’ve never met a football fan who likes motivational, happy, dancing/singing troops in my life. Why not allow for a band composed of members under 40, just at the very least?