Fox NFL Sunday capitalized on the week 1 NFL slate by broadcasting live from Times Square. The location choice makes even more sense if Fox saved money by moving equipment on the Gray Line bus tours (just hop on, and hop off). The special ninety minute kickoff broadcast featured more than the normal highlight packages and interviews. Halfway through the show Fox confirmed what the internet had been buzzing about all weekend. Bruno Mars is the halftime performer at Super Bowl XLVIII.
The choice of Mars is a positive sign that the NFL brass are finally over the chaos caused by the evil trinity of Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, and a ornate nipple ring. Since Jackson bared her handful of flesh the choice of performers had been limited to established stars way past their controversial primes.
2004 Janet Jackson and her Nipple – Patient Zero in making halftime rude, crude, and socially unacceptable
2005 Paul McCartney – Sir Paul was the perfect bleach for ’04.
2006 The Rolling Stone – They started their set with “Start Me Up”. Surprise, surprise.
2007 Prince – 80′s Prince would have humped a Giraffe.
2008 Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – Who could be offended by “American Girl” and “Free Fallin’”?
2009 Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band – A definite theme has formed.
2010 The Who – At this point only Chicago and Billy Squier haven’t been asked.
2011 The Black Eyed Peas – NFL puts toe back in mainsteam water with safest of all pop acts.
2012 Madonna – Old Madonna is far removed from her Pepsi cross burning days.
2013 Beyonce – They finally pick someone still selling records.
2014 Bruno Mars – It took ten years, but the reign of Janet’s shame has ended.
For the performance I can see Mars singing “Just the Way You Are”, “Grenade”, “Locked out of Heaven”, and a fourth collaborative song with whatever pop start he meshes with. (See his great teaming with Sting and Rihanna at the Grammy’s) No matter what happens during the extended half of a game most people watch for the commercials we can rest assured that the NFL is no longer asking its viewers to pay for the sins of Nipple Gate 2004.