This year, the NFL's Super Bowl will broadcast live from Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, just a few scant minutes on the highway from New York City. So it's at least a little surprising the league didn't book a halftime show that might draw on the area's rich musical history, right? Not really.
On February 2, 2014, two teams will play football in Metlife Stadium -- home to the lowly New York Jets and superior New York Giants -- to decide who was the best in the National Football League this year, in a game commonly known as the Super Bowl, the cumulation of the roaring furnace of another NFL season worth billions and billions of dollars. At the game's midway point, music will play, as is custom.
And that performance's headliner will be Bruno Mars, someone with deep ties to the New York/New Jersey area, according to the Los Angeles Times' Joe Flint and Gerrick Kennedy and the Associated Press's Howard Fendrich. The NFL will make the news official at a Times Square press conference on Sunday.
Wait a minute -- the kid's from Hawaii? He's the least Jersey or New York performer they could get? He's a talented musician, sure, and he plays his own instruments and makes some catchy, dancey rock music. But there plenty of other options the league could have chosen that would excite people, both nationally and locally, while staying true to the game's location. Some locals openly campaigned for Jon Bon Jovi, as Jersey as anyone, to headline the half time show. The case isn't a hard sell. The group is old, yes, but they're charismatic, fun and know how to play humongous stadiums. Plus, they're promoting an album and would be used to playing outdoors in New Jersey on a cold, February night. On top of all, that the crowd for Bon Jovi at Metlife would be insane. You might actually hear cheers for once. Jets fans might feel something that resembles happiness, something they're not used to. There's no ruling out a surprise appearance from the 80s band, but that seems unlikely. Sorry, guys. Not this year, not in the NFL.
Booking Bruno Mars instead would be shocking until you remember the NFL never chooses their halftime based on where the game's being played. Last year, at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Houston, Texas-born and raised Destiny's Child blew the roof off the Superdome. The year before, at Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, Indiana, a combination effort from Madonna, LMFAO and Cee-Lo Green underwhelmed. When you think Indianapolis, you think about Madonna, right? In 2011, at Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, Texas, the NFL booked the Black Eyed Peas to headline. They're from L.A. The only time in recent memory when the Super Bowl half time was booked to appease locals was in 2010, in Florida, when the league got The Who to play a set of hits, a nod to the state's popularity with retirees.
So enjoy your Bruno Mars, everyone. Hopefully he plays "Treasure," which is a very good song.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.