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For Better or Worse, Madonna Gets Super Bowl Halftime

covine&rich / flickr

The Halftime Show has been a football tradition for as long as any of us can remember.  Go back to high school – remember how this was the school’s band time to shine?  Look at college, where the competition between bands have been ramped up to new heights!  In the National Football League, the pinnacle of halftime shows comes with football’s biggest day of the year – Super Bowl Sunday.  The show holds as much value as the commercials and the game – or does it?

Can you remember the last 5 Super Bowl Halftime shows?  Can you even remember last year’s show without having to go on line and Google for information?  Sadly most of the shows during the 25-30 minute intermission have been for the most part forgettable.  Yes, pleasing for the most part and somewhat entertaining but not exactly top of mind.  Can you remember at least 3 major Super Bowl Halftime moments?

Everyone will never forget the “wardrobe malfunction” that Janet Jackson suffered on stage with Justin Timberlake almost 8 years ago, but does anything jump out?  Did you forget U2 in 2002?  The Tribute to 9/11, and Bono opening his jacket and showing the American flag stitched in as he performs “Where The Streets Have No Name” – quite possibly the most touching moment in halftime history!  Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band will come to mind for any Jersey person (2009).  Can you think of anything else – without cheating?

This is what Madonna is going to have to face on Feb. 5th in Indianapolis – trying to create a memorable spectacle that will be talked about days following the big game.  She is more than capable of pulling this out, but what about some help …………… wouldn’t Lady Gaga, who has stolen part of Madonna’s act, showing up and sharing the stage on a song make for “memorable”?  For that matter, why not Gaga for halftime?

We have come a long way from the 1st Super Bowl Halftime show with 3 university marching bands.  New Kids On The Block began a tradition of changing some of the old school culture of halftime in 1991, then Michael Jackson kicked the doors down in 1993, and the last 20 years have been about maximum production value during the most watched event on TV in any given year.  The pressure is to get someone with history or relevance – Madonna does have both, but somehow I’m not feeling this as much as I thought I would.

I may be totally wrong, but here are 5 other ideas for this year’s Super Bowl Halftime:

1) Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson

A little bit of country coming together with Idol pop to please just about everyone.  Aldean is possibly the hottest country performer over the last year, and his duet with Kelly (“Don’t You Wanna Stay”) has been a major hit.  For added value, has Ludacris appear during Jason’s “Dirt Road Anthem” (he has before).

2) Guns N’ Roses reunion

Axl Rose is taking a version of the band out in 2012, but what would make huge news would be to have Rose and Slash bury the hatchet and reunite the core lineup (even if it’s only for one night).  Could lead to bigger things for GNR, but at least the Super Bowl pulls off a huge coo and Axl takes the band out probably to big cone=cert audiences.

3) Fleetwood Mac with the USC Marching Band

Amazingly the group has not done the halftime show, and this would be the hybrid of old school 60s halftime with classic rock.  Remember that the Mac have ties to that marching band with “Tusk”, and had the marching band perform with the group in the 90s during their comeback on “Don’t Stop”.

4) Maroon 5

Since the band could have guest appearances from Rihanna, Christiana Aguilera and Gym Class Heroes, this would make Adam Levine’s gorup very halftime worthy.  How about The Voice judges Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green joining in as well?  Wait………. doesn’t FOX have this year’s Super Bowl?

5) John Mellencamp

The Super Bowl is in Indianapolis – why not a guy born and raised in Indiana?  I could see many of his Farm Aid friends being on stage with him.

By the way, the last 5 Super Bowl Hlaftime shows have featured Prince, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers,  Springsteen, The Who and The Black Eyed Peas with Usher.

Good Luck to Madonna – I’m pulling for something special but the odds seem against her.





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