Friday, November 13, 2009

The Who to play the 2010 Super Bowl

From the Telgraph:

The British band have been signed up to play at the showpiece sporting event, the Super Bowl XLIV, in Miami on February 7.

Since their songs were used as the theme music for the CSI series, the group have reached new heights of popularity in the US. They are currently working on material for a new album.

Bruce Springsteen performed at last year's Super Bowl, which drew an audience of 98.7 million viewers, making it the second most watched programme in US television history, behind the series finale of Mash in 1983 (106 million).

The Who had their first hit in 1965 with I Can't Explain and only two members of the original line-up survive: singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend. Drummer Keith Moon died in 1978, and bassist John Entwistle in 2002.

This is ridiculously stupid. The NFL, in an effort to avoid anything resembling "edge" in its Superbowl halftime show are sticking with aging rockers that are completely unfamiliar and disconnected to the average football viewer.

I barely know who The Who is, and that's only because I have an aunt that helped instill in me a love of Classic Rock (thanks, Aunt Peggy, btw.)

Contrary to how the article makes it sound, record numbers of people didn't tune in last year to watch Springsteen. They tune in to watch the game. I think people tuned in last year because they wanted to see a bloodbath in the form of the Steelers pounding the infamously horrible Cardinals or perhaps to root for the perennial underdog. There was also a bit of an East versus West thing happening, too. People tune in to watch the commercials, too. And, in the height of the recession, credit and housing crises and economic uncertainty people didn't go out to Superbowl parties and such as they had done in the past. They stayed home and watched the game. Even Wikipedia refers to the 2009 game as "The Recession Bowl."

As for halftime performers, there have only been a couple of halftime performers who were even remotely relevant at the time they performed - U2 in 2002, Britney Spears in 2001, Christina Aguilera and Enrique Iglesias in 2000 and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy in 1999. Everyone else who has performed has been well past their prime or their window of pop culture popularity. BoyzIIMen in 1998? ZZ Top in 1997? That's not to say that there haven't been some great, legendary performers. The Rolling Stones. Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Phil Collins and Aerosmith are just a few.

But my point is that by the time these people performed, they were several years past the height of their popularity. Tom Petty - one of my all-time favorite musicians - would have been a much more natural fit in the early to mid '80s. Same with Springsteen. Same with ZZ Top. Actrually, the same with just about everyone.

The Super Bowl halftime show needs to be at least relevant. I don't think anyone is expecting cutting-edge popularity. But how about performers from within the last year or so? Jack Johnson? Black Eyed Peas? John Mayer? Miley Cyrus? Taylor Swift? The Killers?

And why does it make sense that because The Who sings the CSI theme song that they should perform at halftime? Next year if the Super Bowl is on ABC, should Psapp sing at halftime because they composed the theme to Grey's Anatomy???

The Who is a horrible choice for a halftime show and the NFL is showing us yet again how out of touch they are with the people who watch their games.

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