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February 07, 2010

Mama let your babies grow up to be Super Bowl rock stars

As I was watching the Super Bowl pregame show on ESPN and CBS today, I was struck by how much sports programs have promoted The Who in days leading up to the big game.

I know that in the past, the halftime entertainment has been promoted in days leading up to the Super Bowl, but it seems that it has been more pervasive this year.

As someone who has not only enjoyed The Who for their entire career, which dates to the mid-60s, but can be fairly described as a fanatic (at last count, I owned 95 CDs/records by The Who and its individual members), it has been great.

I have to laugh at those who have been critical of the selection of The Who to play today. It has become obvious over the last few years that the NFL is inviting the legends to play in the biggest sporting event of the year.  You have to look back only to 1991 to see when the NFL was inviting groups like the New Kids on the Block.

And The Who is being criticized?

Since 1991, every genre of music has been featured although rockers -- such as Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney -- have dominated in recent years.

But artists ranging from Prince, to Shania Twain, Stevie Wonder, No Doubt, Sting, ‘NSync, U2, Britney Spears, Nelly, Mary J. Blige, Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton, and Gloria Estefan have appeared at halftime in the last 10 years.

I’m not a person who dismisses music that may not particularly appeal to me. Just because I’m not a fan of a musical group or style, it doesn’t mean that I can’t respect artists.

And my kids always know they can buy me anything and I’ll listen to it. Some of my recent purchases include Black-Eyed Peas and Kings of Leon. In the past few years, I’ve bought albums by Snoop Dog, Eminem, Amy Winehouse and others.

I’ve always taught my kids that it is worth seeing any phenomenon once. So I’ve gone to concerts to see everyone from Frank Sinatra to the Spice Girls but if you want to summarize my taste, it’s straight hard rock. Again, however, I don’t dismiss any form of music.

The other day, I was watching ESPN and Jalen Rose -- who is developing into a pretty good commentator -- criticized the appearance by The Who and presented his own list of groups who should have been invited.

This is just a casual guess, but I have to think that Roger Goodell will not be consulting Rose before the talent is invited to next year’s Super Bowl in Arlington.

As far as I can see, there is only one sure thing for upcoming Super Bowl entertainment. And that is in 2012 when the Super Bowl is in Indianapolis. Colts owner Robert Irsay is an accomplished guitarist and two of his good friends are Stephen Stills and John Mellencamp. Since Mellencamp is an Indiana institution, I’d like a prop bet on him playing at the Indy Super Bowl.

What about Arlington next year when Jerry Jones and the Cowboys host the Super Bowl? Stills along with David Crosby and Graham Nash wouldn’t be a surprise because they are legends. Neither would the Eagles. You could see a country legend such as Willie Nelson or Garth Brooks. Beyonce is from Houston. Maybe even U2 gets a repeat appearance.

But this year, it’s The Who and as much as any group who has 12 minutes to perform, they will do a great job.

And my message to Jalen Rose and other youthful critics is this: Right now, the Boomers -- my generation -- are in control.

Live with it.

-- Jan Hubbard


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Come on, we all know you are a Beatles fan!

Joe Ely for SB halftime in Dallas!

Well stated. Hopefully the younger critics who maybe aren't as familiar with The Who's music will get a little lesson in rock and roll history. Looking forward to the show!

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