While they may say that baseball is the American pastime, we’re going to go ahead and submit that football is the true sport of God-fearing Americans everywhere. Sure, baseball has spitting, the 7th inning stretch, and nachos, but there’s something about football that transcends all that amazing stuff. It could be the increased violence or the neat-o uniforms, but regardless of all that, we’ll just assume it has to do with the fact that football has more of the total entertainment package. Plus, football’s the only sport that melds so brilliantly with rocking tunes and a dash of theatricality. And the pinnacle of that relationship can be seen each year during the Super Bowl: At no other time during the football season are as many big name acts involved and stops removed in order to give the gridiron’s acolytes the best 15 minutes ever. But like the ebb and flow of wins and losses, there’s good and bad halftime shows. And we do mean bad.
The following list is just a sampling of the rich history of halftime shows in the Super Bowl’s 48 year history. Some of them have been monuments to the artists’ careers, while others would have been better left to the cutting room floor. There’s been boatloads of patriotism, cartoon characters galore, crooners and rockers one and all, and moments of sheer hilarity and soul-crushing embarrassment not seen outside of a high school prom. Enjoy what we think has clearly defined the Super Bowl from its inception, and feel free to leave your own moments in the comment section.
– Chris Coplan