Today they've announced that the musical entertainment during halftime at the 2009 Super Bowl will be none other than Bruce "Born in the U.S.A." Springsteen. And I guess I'm not the only one immediately thinking two things: First, that the NFL no doubt will put in the contract that "Born To Run" has got to be on the set list--and dedicated to Emmett Smith and Walter Payton. ("Backs like us, baby, we were born to run..") Second, are they ever going to book anyone even remotely "edgy" again? I mean, it's been a good four years since 2004 and Janet Jackson's infamous "Nipplega..," I mean, "wardrobe malfunction" at the, er, hands of Justin Timberlake. And since then we've had Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Prince, and Tom Petty. Not exactly a youth movement, is it? And no offense to "The Boss," but considering that his concerts don't even start to really heat up until, oh, about the middle of the second or third hour, it he really the best choice for a 15-minute slot in the middle of a football game? Wouldn't someone like, say, Kid Rock make more sense? Nobody wants more than that much face time with him in one sitting--ever. He'd be perfect.
In any event, we do note that they did not announce who's going to be singing the National Anthem--a much more slippery slope, to be sure, seeing as how you've got the whole patriotic thing wrapped up in that selection. History notes that in 2003 "The Star Spangled Banner" was sung by (anyone remember this?) the Dixie Chicks:
I'm sure everyone does, however, remember that just a few months later the Chicks became mired in controversy over lead singer Natalie Maines' less than flattering comments about President Bush following the U.S. invasion of Iraq. My guess is whoever booked them that year got a one way ticket to Gitmo--or at least a year's worth of mandatory attendance at Toby Keith concerts.
Of course, considering that past National Anthem performers have included Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, Cher, Mariah Carey and Beyonce, odds are good that they might again go the diva route. My money would then be on someone like Christina Aguilera--or, if in the spirit of world peace they want to go international, maybe someone like Duffy. Actually, they should have her do the halftime show--that is, if her 15 minutes of you-know-what aren't up yet by February.
(Just kidding, sorta).
- Walter Payton.
- Justin Timberlake