THE HALFTIME SHOW THAT NEVER HAD A “PRAYER”
If you get a sense of edginess from this post, I’m still a little worked up about the New England Patriots’ loss in the Super Bowl on Sunday. Apologies in advance, but this sets me up perfectly to do some friendly ranting.
For the first time in a while, a significant portion of viewers enjoyed the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show. In the past few years, acts like the Who, the Rolling Stones and the Black Eyed Peas lit up the stage like a blown light bulb, receiving extremely negative reviews for their performances. Well, this year, the Super Bowl was in Indianapolis, in the Midwest – the heart of America. What better way, the selection committee thought, to represent Americana and please millions of light beer-guzzling fans than bringing out…Madonna? With Nicki Minaj? And Cee Lo Green?
I know the Super Bowl draws in a much larger audience than usual; for many people, this is the only football game they watch all season. So of course you want an artist who can cater to all demographics. The Who? Good decision, but poor execution on their part. The Rolling Stones? Maybe a little risqué for the younger viewers, but you could do worse. Madonna though? Here are the facts:
a.) She’s my mother’s age and hasn’t released anything memorable in years
b.) Her performances have been known to err on the…uhhh…mature side
- You’d think the networks are still playing it safe after Janet Jackson’s nip-slip in 2004
c.) The first thing you think of when you think NFL, masculinity and aggression is NOT Madonna
By now you know how I thought the halftime show went. If you don’t, this should give you an idea of what was going through my mind as I watched.
Why the NFL didn’t use their surroundings to their advantage is beyond me. They were in Indianapolis, a city near where a certain John Cougar Mellencamp grew up. Here’s an idea: USE HIM! He’s well known, represents the American culture very well, has good songs and won’t put on some elaborate show complete with a dry-humping Richard Simmons doppelganger.
“Hurts So Good,” “R.O.C.K. In the U.S.A.,” “Walls Come Tumbling Down,” that’s all you need for a great show! Or better yet, bring back Bruce Springsteen for every halftime show. Seriously; 20 years from now, I want to see the Boss wheeled on stage at Super Bowl LXVI — an IV of Bud Light attached to his hand — croak out “Jungleland” and have an animatronic Clarence “Big Man” Clemons blast out the sax solo. Instant winner every time, and DEFINITELY better than Prince’s halftime show, which I’m sure half the country mistook for a bad trip courtesy of some drugged chili.
The halftime show might as well not happen if nobody’s going to take it seriously. It’s a waste of money and publicity at this point. So this selection committee better step up their game if they want to keep the tradition going. Otherwise, we’ll be subject to the one thing worse than a bad halftime show: useless, self-indulgent and inane commentators stating the obvious (“well, I think this team has to keep running and passing the ball if they want to score”) and getting paid stupid amounts of money to do so.
What did you think? Do you think this year’s Super Bowl halftime show was a bust? Or am I full of it? Let me know in the comments section.