Let’s be honest: The NFL blew it with the halftime show this year.

The Super Bowl halftime show used to be the most coveted gig in music. Now it’s the most toxic, thanks the NFL’s unconscionable treatment of its players (cf. concussions and brain injuries), its Trumpian attitude toward the “take a knee” protests, its unending jingoism (“Football is America! America is football!”) and Roger Goodell’s constant waffling when tasked the tough questions.

It also doesn’t help that the bloody Patriots are in the Super Bowl again this year. And they’re playing the Rams, a team that has lacklustre support in LA at best.

But I digress. Here’s what I wrote about the halftime show for Global News.

It’s been a rough year for the NFL. The season was plagued by falling TV ratings and shots of empty seats in stadiums. The league continued to get bad press over issues like concussions and long-term brain injuries. And then there’s the ongoing “take a knee” protests by players as they continue to speak up against racism and police brutality in America.

Colin Kaepernick’s alleged blackballing from a professional football career continues to divide owners and fans while also riling Donald Trump on the Twitter machine. And the brutal, incomprehensibly bad non-interference call in the Saints-Rams NFC conference final did the league no favours.

Which brings me to the Super Bowl halftime show. Maroon 5? That’s the best the NFL could do? Meh.

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Let’s be honest: The NFL blew it with the halftime show this year.

  • February 3, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    The bottom line is not that no one else would take the gig as a result of the Kaepernick controversy. The bottom line is that the NFL doesn’t even consider asking Rock bands to perform anymore (and don’t tell me that Coldplay is a rock band). The NFL could ask Metallica or Guns n Roses to perform, but they don’t because most of the fans of those bands are already watching the game and they’re trying to get viewers who don’t usually watch football. As long as the NFL keeps using this strategy they’re going to keep having this problem. Hopefully all the pop/hip-hop artists declining to perform and the negative reception groups like Maroon 5 keep getting will encourage the NFL to go back to booking rock bands.


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