I just had an argument with my roommate about it, but I’m not backing down. She maintains the halftime show starring Prince, the artist formerly known as “O(+>”), was musical and entertaining, and was thusly a good halftime show.
I disagree. As someone who hates football and watches the Super Bowl only for the halftime show (and the commercials) I am intensely more qualified to discuss the merits of a good halftime show. I’m not distracted by all the ridiculous and inevitably disappointing football that is usually involved in a football game, this year being no exception to that.
I maintain that a good halftime show pulls out all the stops. And until Super Bowl XXXVIII, when Justin Timberlake accidentally pulled out a little too much of Janet Jackson, this was a consistent trend.
Consider the history: From marching bands to Bono, from Up With People to better people, bands that rock to Chris Rock, each year the halftime show had evolved and gotten bigger and better, with more musicians and celebrities involved. The top two largest Super Bowl halftime shows featured eight bands, celebrities or musicians. EACH. The 2001 show featured *NSYNC, Nelly and Britney Spears, among others, although it is arguable that Spears is now simply bigger, not actually better.
I also believe the halftime show should feature someone who is currently awesome, relevant and appealing. And not ancient. Again, ever since JanetGate in 2004, the NFL has chosen a string of elderly gentlemen (nobody with easily exposable breasts) to perform at this hallowed sports event. At an event where anyone wanting to stand on the pitch during the halftime show must be under the age of 45, why have the last three years featured men who wouldn’t even be able to watch their own shows?
For example, the Rolling Stones: The Stones vary in age from 59 to 65 and have a combined total age of 250. Before you get your panties in a bunch, I didn’t say the Stones weren’t great, I said they were getting old. It’s a true statement. Another example: Sir Paul McCartney, who is not only old but, like the Stones, comes from bonny England where football does not exist in the form we know it. Aging is inevitable, and there’s nothing we can do about it. My grandpa often says that he’s not old, he’s “chronologically gifted.” But you don’t see my grandpa performing at the halftime show, and I believe that’s for the best.
At three years past the cutoff age for an on-field audience member, Prince took to the stage Sunday night wearing a suit he could have borrowed from the “Dumb and Dumber” boys, a kerchief he may have borrowed from Aunt Jemima, and his signature eyeliner which, I’m sorry to say, is less becoming than it used to be.
So what if he wore a suit to show each team’s colors? So what if he wore the kerchief to protect his head from the (purple) rain? So what if Prince can apply liquid eyeliner better than I will ever be able to? Forget the doves, I cried. The NFL is losing touch with what its fans want in a halftime show. I never thought I would say this, but I would have preferred Britney Spears.
Hilary Davis is a senior technical journalism major. Her column appears in the Collegian on Fridays. Replies and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.