Everyone knows that Madonna and football go together like peanut butter and jelly. I'm pretty sure "Like a Prayer" was written about a Hail Mary pass, right?
The woman who gave us such hits as "Like a Virgin," "Papa Don't Preach" and "Vogue" will be our halftime entertainment during next Sunday during Super Bowl XLVI. Just when you thought the halftime show couldn't get any better, it turns out, according to the Associated Press, that Madonna will also be teaming up with the people from Cirque du Soleil. Wow, '80s pop hits and Canadian acrobats in weird outfits–it's a match made in football heaven.
The whole thing just seems bizarre until you realize that it's all a big promotional stunt. The Super Bowl performance will coincide conveniently with the United States release of the new movie W.E., directed by Madonna. This romantic drama follows two parallel love stories which take place in different time periods. Sounds exactly like something football fans would be interested in, right?
I respect Madonna for branching out beyond music and exploring the art of directing, but after listening to her acceptance speech for Best Original Song at the Golden Globes, I have absolutely no interest in seeing this movie. The speech was basically two minutes of her patting herself on the back. Also, isn't it sort of egotistical to name your song "Masterpiece"?
The problem with acts like Madonna and previous artists like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Janet Jackson is that much of these performances are based on smoke and mirrors. They feature elaborate dance numbers, flashing lights and expensive stage setups. The average football fan could care less about these things.
The perfect example is last year's half time show, which I consider to be the worst I've ever seen. The performance featured the auto-tuned Black Eyed Peas dressed in ridiculous light-up Tron outfits. Just as I thought to myself, "There's no way this could get any worse," Slash from Guns N Roses comes out on stage playing "Sweet Child O' Mine."
Instead of creating weird Frankenstein pop collaborations, the Super Bowl halftime show could feature artists who who have proven that they can pack stadiums and pump up a massive audience. If it were up to me, I would book bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters or Dave Matthews Band. Even popular country artists would be more appropriate for an audience of football fans (although I personally dislike country). But let's face it. Next year they'll probably get Justin Bieber to perform with the cast from the musical Cats.
To read more of Jim Gangi's thoughts on music, movies, and television, check out his blog, Heard a Noise.