Mariah Carey, No Doubt The Latest Victims Of Inexplicable NFL Counter-Programming

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Disclosure: I like both No Doubt and football, and after I used Mariah Carey's "Heartbreaker" to make a 90s-pop-related point I couldn't stop listening to it. I think this puts me in a unique position to say that the NFL's continued attempts to attract a non-traditional audience by tossing female pop stars into its on-screen bumpers and halftime programming are both a little crass and completely ridiculous.

Nevertheless: If you decide to catch NBC's opening-night football coverage on September 5, you're going to get performances from both acts, whether you want them or not. (And Mariah Carey probably won't even play Heartbreaker!) This will also apparently make you, the football-agnostic fan of mid-90s pop, stay tuned for two hours of very large men in full body armor giving each other concussions.

I'm fine with it, personally, because if the NFL were really trying to nail its target audience's taste in music it probably would have booked Creed to sing a bunch of country songs about gambling inside a Buffalo Wild Wings by now. But if this counter-programming really does work on you, somehow, here are five other artists with which the NFL has gotten you ready for some football in its inimitably tone-deaf and weirdly half-assed way.

5. P!nk I've got to let this out: Of all the pop stars who've found success over multiple albums in the last decade, P!nk is far and away my least favorite, and I think the problem is just how ridiculous her positioning as a hard-living rebel who Doesn't Care What You Think and is always ready with a middle finger to, I don't know, somebody, is in the wake of how consistently acceptable everyone in America finds her.

Oh, there's also how unpleasant it is to listen to her voice, and how cloying and awful that "Sober" song sounds in its natural habit, which is the tinny speakers inside my local Burger King. I maybe could have led off with that.

For all that, I'm relatively certain that future generations aren't going to have the same problem I do, probably because they won't know who Dr. Luke was.

4. Faith Hill A complete list of football players I can imagine kind of nodding their head to "This Kiss," probably in a GMC Envoy, right before their wife hurriedly switches to their kids' VeggieTales cassette:

  1. Kurt Warner

3. Madonna P!nk and Faith Hill both appeal, in the same vague way, to some NFL executive's strange vision of a harried football-hating wife who has to be tricked into allowing her flabby, Peyton-Manning-jersey-wearing husband to watch The Big Game. (I'm convinced NFL executives believe The Lockhorns to be a basically accurate picture of every American marriage, and also totally hilarious.)

Madonna's different, especially in 2012. Madonna, I can only guess, was their ambitious attempt to tap into the highly sought-after "People with Madonna Tattoos" market.

2. Shania Twain singing "Man! I Feel like A Woman" I had to look this up to make sure I wasn't being trolled by the universe, or at least some rogue Wikipedia editor.

Do you think Bobby Brown ever gets pissed off about only having the second-biggest pop hit ever to use the word prerogative? I mean, I guess he's got other things to be pissed about.

1. Please at least watch this video until Minnie Mouse marries Warren Moon, I'm not even asking for you to get to Chip 'n Dale hammer dancing or the NKOTB, though you probably should, really

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