The 2014 Annual “Why, NFL, WHY?” Half Time Show Bitch Fest

Dear National Football League:

Katy Perry IS NOT FOOTBALL MUSIC. Remember when they tried changing the opening song in Cleveland with “Roar?” We get that you don’t understand what constitutes real football music, and that you’re afraid to take any chances after the FCC got all boob-headed when JT and Janet bared breast, but you could at least show some effort in thinking about who bores us to death while we get refills on snacks.

On second thought, food refills are good. Nevermind – keep forgetting we have a mute button for a reason.

Signed,

Fans

So, in case you missed the news, Katy Perry is the halftime performer for the 2015 Super Bowl.  As you can read from my status that came immediately after the news, I am not happy about it.

Let’s get a few facts straight:  As someone whose appreciation for music has been growing again, recognizing talent and entertainment in even the people who make the music and works that drive you bat-shit crazy is something I can be honest about.  To that end, although I’ve never heard a single song of Katy Perry’s that I’ve got into, I can recognize why she’s a star, and from what little bit I have seen of her, think she’s cool.  She’s not my type of music, but I think she could do my type of music without a problem.

Is she NFL material, however?  There’s no denying that she, like many of the previous performers before her, could put an awesome, special effects, fireworks-blowing halftime extravaganza, but is her music “Football”- worthy?

That’s why I have the problem.

Football is an aggressive, hard-hitting, violent sport.  It is a battle of two armies in pads, using themselves to drive a ball down to a goal, or to prevent the opposite army (and possibly steal said ball) from reaching that goal.  Although there used to be dancing, most of the action going on is -and should be- brutal.

When I played in high school, we didn’t warm up to the latest pop, dance or country song.  We weren’t listening to family-friendly kid music.  The music, whether it was rock or rap, was aggressive and mean, and it was to get our heads into the game.  We weren’t thinking about making love to our opponents; we were thinking about burying them in the ground.

AGGRESSIVE, ANGRY, SOUL-CRUSHING MUSIC WITH A HEAVY RHYTHM:  THAT’S FOOTBALL MUSIC.

I get that the NFL doesn’t want a debacle:  not only are there going to be millions of kids and old folks watching, there will be situations where aggression is not the best idea.  (For example, many of the local bars and restaurants with TV’s, who will undoubtedly be tuned in to make whatever money they can from it.)  I get that they don’t want to stir things with the FCC, especially after the last major halftime clusterfuck which, coincidentally, also featured music that wasn’t right.  (Because nothing says aggressive like singing about bringing sexy back and baring a boob or two, right?)  They came close a couple of times, getting rock and hard rock bands onto the stage, but they tried staying as safe as possible.

Could they satisfy me by playing what I think is football music without sacrificing their target audience? That depends – considering the halftime still hits when most kids are up, using the “after 9/8 central” rule is hard, if not impossible to do.  (Ever notice at award shows they save the harder-edged risque music for near the last hour and a half?  Why some bands, if they showed up, performed near the end of the show, as opposed to the beginning?  It ain’t just because they’re superstars…)  Bands that will scare the crap out of the baby or grandpa on sight alone wouldn’t work, even if they did fit – so you’d immediately rule out costumed performers like Insane Clown Posse, SlipKnot and Gwar.

You’d also have to rule out any music where there’d be a ton of censoring – after all, the NFL wants to avoid pissing the FCC off.  (Of course, if the FCC would pull its head out of its ass, MAYBE there’d be a little more quality to the programs – Instead of worrying about who says fuck and how much bare skin is on TV, keeping the restrictions up during normal schoolkid hours, where the arguments of why it needs to be there can be justified.)

More likely than not, you’d be limited to those bands currently played already in stadiums – which I can agree with.While the negative is getting someone whose music is already played a million times over – we really don’t need a new version of Enter Sandman, thankyouverymuch – the positive is playing something close to and resembling sports music, while keeping it family friendly and safe.  (If it helps, hire the geniuses who did the Jock Jams and Jock Rocks collections for ESPN in the 90’s- they seem to have a better grasp of what works and is family-friendly!)

So, who would I suggest?

  • Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer (If you can get all four, great!)
  • KISS (a number of their older songs have been stadium staples for some time, so it only makes sense)
  • Linkin Park, Korn, Disturbed (They still have a surprising number of aggressive songs, along with their older stuff, that would work.)
  • Foo Fighters (while a large chunk of their music wouldn’t work as well, if you let Grohl choose the music – and not fucking insist on family-friendly fare – he’d be able to pull a solid show that fits.)
  • Eminem, Jay-Z (Both are experienced in pulling off shows for “family-friendly” settings, and both have hits that would fit that aggressive nature of Football)
  • Sadly, many of the choices played in stadiums are dead or no longer playing, while a few wouldn’t make sense at all. Bands like Queen, which might work for the ending (We are the Champions) would stir the Christian groups into a frenzy (not that my other choices wouldn’t), not to mention most of their popular catalog isn’t that aggressive.

Who do you NOT get?  You don’t get pop, rock, or country bands whose popular stuff involves making love and anything else non-aggressive.

In other words, you don’t fucking get Katy Perry.

Unfortunately, that is exactly the choice you did make, so I’m going to look on the bright side:  While she’s on stage performing, I can use the restroom, refill my food and drink, chat with friends, make fun of her on FB, and still have enough time to flip the bird to the screen as she walks off stage.  (No offense, Katy, but your employers are idiots – look at the number of domestic dispute debacles they’ve had to fight with this year!)

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