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NFL Halftime Show=NFL Punking Out

The NFL needs to grow up.

Janet Jackson in 2004

Janet Jackson in 2004

Or maybe young.

Ever since the infamous moment when Janet Jackson’s breast was exposed for public consumption in 2004, the NFL has become scared.  Terrified, really.

In fact, that 2004 Super Bowl didn’t just feature Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.  Nelly, P.Diddy, and Kid Rock performed, too.

Previous years have seen acts such as No Doubt, Mary J. Blige, Boyz II Men, U2 and Queen Latifah.

But since 2004, the NFL has played it safe.  They’ve turned to classic performers who are now carrying AARP cards.  The last four Super Bowls have featured Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Prince, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.  Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime show will feature Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

It’s not that we shouldn’t recognize past artists who helped pave the way.  But there are dozens of great acts that deserve to be given the exposure of the world at halftime.  From Alicia Keys to Adele to Kanye West–there is a new generation of musical acts that fans would love to see.  And ones who haven’t already been in the business for four decades.

Even Jennifer Hudson, a young woman who has won an Oscar and has recently been nominated for four Grammy awards due to her debut release this past year, is only singing the National Anthem.  For two brief minutes.

The NFL needs to get its act together.  You can’t market the league, memorabilia, and its products (such as Madden NFL Football) to a demographic that is roughly 35 and under, and yet trumpet out artists who are pushing sixty.  It’s not that Prince or Bruce Springsteen aren’t legends–they are.  But it’s time to showcase new legends for a new generation of fans.

The Super Bowl is the most watched event of the year, and so there’s no doubt that someone is enjoying the choices of halftime performances.  But the league should not be so scarred by the Janet Jackson incident that they’re afraid to let a young woman back on the stage.  Or any woman, at that.

Memo to the NFL:  You don’t have to worry about an orgy breaking out on stage.  No one will spew vulgarity.  Learn from your 2004 mistake, find ways to correct it, and move on.  Don’t hide your product behind an artist whose hey day was during the Nixon administration.

January 30, 2009 Posted by | Features & Opinions, NFL | , , , , , | 3 Comments