I own several Tom Petty records and saw him once when he toured with Bob Dylan in the mid 1980s. A group of my fellow Wildcats and I sat on the lawn at the concert, next to a group of grizzled bikers carting an enormous amount of beer. Their tats, leathers and ham-hock arms scared us college weenies to death until they fell asleep during Dylan's second set (Bobbay! Bobbay! Bobb...zzzz!). Like Petty, like the tunes, liked the show. But I can't figure out why he's headlining SBXLII.
Ever since the whole Justin Timberlake-Janet Jackson ugliness in 2004, the network broadcasting the game has played it safe. Oh, and the bit where Justin exposed Janet's breast has caused trouble, too. In 2005, we saw the then 63-year-old Sir Paul McCartney (and I confess that the fireworks going off during "Live and Let Die" rocked my world). Last year it was the Rolling (average age at the time, 62) Stones, who managed to get bleeped during a couple of songs. I worked in a nursing home one summer and guys that age often use inappropriate language, so who knows why anyone was offended. At 57, Petty's "much" younger, but it's still been awhile for him. The other acts are Alicia Keys and Jordin Sparks, and who cares.
For my money, there's no reason to do Super Bowl halftime shows anymore. U2 put the period on all possible halftime shows in 2002 (those who know me probably saw this opinion coming). The tribute to the fallen of September 11, the quoting of Psalm 51, the amazing anthem "Where the Streets Have No Name," Bono's sly reveal of the US flag lining of his jacket and a host of other factors combined for 12 of the best minutes I have ever had watching television. Sure, I like some Tom Petty songs better than I like some U2 songs, but when you measure what he'll do live against what happened in 2002, well, is how you say in English... no point?
So don't try anymore. Run down some first-half stats, let Terry Bradshaw say something simultaneously insane and funny, shellac Jimmy Johnson's hair and let Fox trot out one of its American Karaoke -er- Idol stars on the years they show the game. Then get back to the commercials and football and leave us alone.
ETA: Oops, I left out the Prince performance from 2007. He was 48 at the time and I think he tops the 60s Brigade, but only comes in second amongst the 80s Guys.