As a bigger music fan than football fan, I wish I could say that Bruce Springsteen is bigger than the Super Bowl, that he should have better things to do than play a hasty 12-minute medley of his hits, as a sideshow to a sporting event, for an audience that didn’t show up just to see him. But the truth is, he’s not, and after the likes of the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Prince, Tom Petty, U2, and others have paved the way, there’s no way Springsteen can say he’s above performing at this winter’s Superbowl halftime show. Besides, according to the NFL, which confirmed on Sunday night the long-standing rumor that Springsteen will be the 2009 Super Bowl halftime entertainer, some 148 million Americans watched last year’s halftime mini-show. Who could turn down an opportunity to play for an audience that big, even for just 12 minutes?
Still, I’m already wondering who they’ll book for 2010. The list of all-American (or British-but-America-loving) classic-rock icons who are still as popular as Springsteen or McCartney or Petty who haven’t already done the show is slim to nonexistent. (My colleague Michael Slezak suggested Madonna, but after the 2004 Janet Jackson incident, I doubt the NFL will go anywhere near someone who might risk a wardrobe malfunction.) Who else is there, PopWatchers? What do you think of Springsteen landing the gig? And which 12 minutes of music should he use to summarize his 36-year recording career?