Does Anybody Care About the Super Bowl Halftime Show Anymore?



Photo by bikephotomusic/Flickr Commons
When it comes to Katy Perry, you're hot and you're cold.
The short answer to this headline is: It depends.

Isn't that the truest answer to any query about a thing and whether it is relevant? Is Led Zeppelin still an influential rock & roll band in 2015? To some, albeit a shrinking demographic, the answer is yes. Is Paul McCartney as important to modern music as Kanye West? We all recall your opinions on that one.

See also: Here's What a GWAR Super Bowl Halftime Show Would Be Like, According to GWAR

If you don't enjoy football, music, fireworks (100 percent certain you'll get those during the halftime show), the generally agreed upon hotness of Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz, or things that are ridiculously spectacular, the answer is "No, this does not matter." A followup question might ask what went so wrong in your life that you can't find the joy in even one of these awesome things, but to each his or her own.

If you continued past the first sentence here, then you may be in the camp that says, ohgoshyes, this matters, even if just in some menial way that allows me to escape from the crushing burden of work, my going-nowhere-fast love life, the knowledge that one day I'll be a worm-farm. This recreational sporting event and its mid-game antics will never cure the sicknesses of this world, but, as remedies go, it's not a bad deep-tissue massage for those who carry the world's weight on their shoulders.

First and foremost, the halftime extravaganza matters to the National Football League. Last year, it booked a small guy with big appeal, Bruno Mars. He was joined by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They may be mainstream now, but at one time the Red Hots would never have been considered for such a primetime, family-hour honor. Those who can recall their snarling, anti-establishment beginnings found great humor in the pairing.

It was wildly successful, too. Last year's halftime show was the most-watched in the game's history at more than 115 million viewers, according to Billboard. The ratings were so good the NFL allegedly told artists hoping for the gig they'd have to pay to play it.

It also matters to PepsiCo, which, by some estimates, pays $90 million a year to be an official league sponsor. It matters to whichever network is airing the game and its day-long companion events; this year it's NBC.

But does it matter to us, the important people?

In the end, the halftime show probably matters less to true music fans than to Jimmy Fallon's joke-writers or the Internet meme-makers who gave us Unflattering Beyonce." It matters to the wordsmiths who coined the phrase "wardrobe malfunction" after Janet Jackson's Super Bowl breast-baring performance. It matters to anyone who now has to choose between a half-hour of Perry or the Puppy Bowl -- sex kitten vs. cute puppies, fluff vs. fluffy.

But if the idea of Perry as entertainment deflates you like a Bill Belichick ball, just snap the television off when the first half ends and toss the Beatles' Revolver onto the turntable. At just over a half-hour, you can listen to the whole thing and get back to the game by the second-half kickoff.


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