Year after year I have complained about the halftime show at the Superbowl. I whinned about the pop princesses performing (nice alliteration, eh?) and the over the top productions. This year, once again it was a spectacle to behold. Katy Perry riding out on some giant golden lion (perhaps if we built a large wooden badger) and a bevy of dancers including dancing sharks and beach balls. I tried hard not to enjoy it. Where were the marching bands? What about Up With People? Aren’t they still around?
I fumed, vented on social media and then after a couple days I thought about all the work that went into the production. In just a few minutes they had one of the coolest stages I have ever seen up and running without a hitch. It seemed to make the floor fall away beneath them and the dancers carefully stayed on stable blocks so as not to “fall” into the apparent abyss. How may engineers, software developers and others did it take to put this together? How many hours did they practice making sure it would all work? Wow, a lot of college degrees went into this show. Never mind the bubblegum pop music that really doesn’t appeal to the average NFL fan. This was a hell of a show! I don’t think Up With People could have pulled this off in 1982 at the Silverdome.
Then I looked back at the previous years shows. Starting in 1970 with Superbowl IV they have had some popular star perform. That year it was Carol Channing. Now no one would think that she was synonymous with football. No, even then the NFL was trying to appeal to a larger audience.
Hey, I get it. Every company wants to expand their customer base. I don’t see Katy Perry fans spending the kind of money on the NFL that your average 45 year old guy does, but they have to start somewhere. However, the NFL is a multi-billion dollar industry that has more weekly television viewers than just about anything, except maybe The Walking Dead. I don’t begrudge anyone for wanting more customers, but seriously? The NFL trying to expand it’s fan base is like Microsoft saying they need to have their software on more PC’s.
So, I will try to stop grumbling about the half time show. I do have a couple suggestions though. To start the game, have some military singers do the national anthem. They will show it the respect it deserves. My suggestion for the half time show? Keep all the production and music, just have a good old college marching band come onto the field at the end. Just think if this year would have ended with the Ohio State marching band spelling out BOOBIES while Katy Perry sang her last song.