A Fan’s Perspective on the Super Bowl Halftime Show

Story posted February 3, 2019 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Matthew Dunn

It’s back. Over 100 million people will tune their television to the same frequency this Sunday night as the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. Yet that’s mere background noise as to why we find ourselves drawn to this event. Ask your friends why he or she will be watching the game and they might tell you two things; the commercials and the halftime show.

See, the Super Bowl racks in a near $400 million in sales, with the tagline that displaying one’s company during the game will lead to tremendous net gain and exposure. While Tom Brady is out throwing footballs for the umpteenth time, the American consumer will be reminiscing on that one Doritos commercial where the man threw his “magic ball” at the vending machine, or when Betty White makes her inevitable guest appearance (I really hope she does). There’s a reason these companies pay $5 million for 30 seconds of air time, good commercials sell.

The halftime show works off the same basis. The NFL is trying to choose an artist that draws in the greater majority of viewers. A pop star that exhumes good characteristics and values while still selling out stadiums like U2 performing The Joshua Tree. This year, to much chagrin, they settled on Maroon 5 and Travis Scott as the main acts. The reality is, unless you’re Beyoncé, the general reaction is never going to be all that well received, choosing an artist that appeals to the entire American consensus is an impossible task and the age-old criticism of “The performers were better years ago” is always thrown out by somebody’s uncle. And nobody, I mean nobody, is ever going to top Michael Jackson in 1993, arguably the performance that made the Super Bowl what it is today.

What makes this year special though is Adam Levine’s new hairstyle. Just kidding, it’s Travis Scott. For the first time in over a decade an American rap artist will be taking the main stage to perform one of the biggest international songs at the moment, “Sicko Mode”. Travis, who has been in the news recently over his label’s decision to remove a transgender model from the finished artwork of his latest album Astroworld, is deemed a controversial choice. Many are expecting a taking of the knee, be it in solidarity with Kaepernick, or, to propose to longtime girlfriend Kylie Jenner. Still, nobody is expecting this performance to go off without a hitch.

A quick search of the “Super Bowl” on Google will link that person to news articles covering the celebrities that will be in attendance, the outrageously high-priced concessions, and why a “Patriots win will hurt the stock market.” Sports, as amazing as they can be, are fragile in the grand scheme of the media. Nick Foles’ “Philly Special” will be remembered by many as one of the greatest postseason plays of all time, but Budweiser’s “Dilly Dilly” is what keeps that play alive.



Matthew Dunn is a junior majoring in print journalism. To contact him, email mzd5424@psu.edu.