During a regulation NFL game there is a 15 minute break between the 2nd and 3rd quarters. This halftime break was originally instituted so the participants of the game could catch their breath and re-energize. During the Super Bowl, halftime lasts for a minimum of 30 minutes. Not only is that plenty of time for a player to catch his breath, that could allow him an opportunity to take a nap and check some emails. The mid-game break is actually long enough that coaches usually alter practices leading up to the big game in order to prepare their players for dealing with the extended down time. Despite this, there has never been a serious motion to shorten the length of the break. On the contrary, every few years halftime will run a little long to better accommodate the length of more extravagant halftime shows.
This presents an interesting phenomenon. The Super Bowl, the game that decides who the best team is in the highest level of the most popular sport in America, is consistently interrupted for at least 15 minutes more than is necessary so an assortment of washed up and unknown artists can perform for a crowd that has paid at least double the average monthly income for a ticket to the game. It is widely known that companies spend millions of dollars for a chance to slip a commercial in between the biggest football game of the year, but this event has become so large that the game itself is being postponed in order to make room for the event that surrounds it. That’s the kind of marketing that is normally reserved for religious holidays and national celebrations.
So what makes the Super Bowl half-time show so special? It is the second most anticipated part of the event, besides of course, who wins the championship. The hype of who is performing is always a boost for the performers publicity, but what if Madonna blows it like the Black Eyed Peas did last year? What will that do to her brand as being Madonna, the Queen of pop? There is a lot at stake when involving yourself in the biggest event of the year. Let’s just hope there are no wardrobe malfunctions or fumbled lyrics this year.