Friday, January 29, 2010

Super Bowl halftime-- a british tradition?

Super Bowl 44, on February 7, will feature the band The Who as the halftime show. I love The Who-- don't get me wrong. I'm sure it will be a great show, even though the original members of the band are old enough to be grandparents to many of the NFL players.

My issue isn't with The Who; it's not really an issue, but more simply pointing out something I find interesting.

American football (which is what folks everywhere outside of the U.S. call our game)-- and especially the Super Bowl-- are among the most "American" things around. Yet, the trend over the recent years has been to have a British artist or band perform for halftime. Take a look at this list from the last decade (British artists in bold):

2010: The Who
2009: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
2008: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
2007: Prince (the artist formerly known as "Love Symbol #2")
2006: The Rolling Stones
2005: Paul McCartney
2004: Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Nelly, P. Diddy, Kid Rock
2003: Shania Twain, No Doubt, Sting
2002: U2
2001: Aerosmith, 'N Sync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Nelly

So, about half of the years we've had British bands or artists. (In fact, it looks almost like they picked up on the "trend" after 2006 and intentionally went the other way for a few years before coming back to The Who.)

What gives? Are American band just not that good?

Another note: after the 2004 "wardrobe malfunction" debacle, it looks like they've very intentionally moved away from acts that aren't old folks who either a) aren't recording any longer, or b) haven't recorded anything that has had a lot of success in years.

In other words, there seems to be a "no one under 45, and British if possible" policy in place. Anyone else notice this?

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