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Who's next to play the Super Bowl halftime show?

  • By Dan Hanzus NFL.com
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Rolling Stone magazine recently asked its readers who should follow Madonna as next year's Super Bowl halftime act. The responses that populated the Top 10 ranged from, “Hmmm, that’s a great idea” to “Wow, people on the Internet are insane.”

Several factors make Coldplay a top choice to play halftime in New Orleans.
Several factors make Coldplay a top choice to play halftime in New Orleans. (Roberto Pfeil/Associated Press)

Here's the list, with our opinion included:

10. Phish

Two words: Not happening. Big Mouth Billy Bass has a better chance of playing the Super Bowl than the stoner rock legends. Seriously, the only way this happens is if Trey Anastasio overthrows Roger Goodell and assumes control of the league. And we’re not even sure that gets it done.

9. Coldplay

These guys are probably the closest to a lock on this list due to the combination of worldwide popularity, relative youth and safe factor (Chris Martin isn't flipping off anyone.) Coldplay has positioned itself as the logical successors to U2 for years, and playing the big game would do wonders on that front (Bono & Co. played a memorable post-9/11 halftime set at Super Bowl XXVI.)

8. Lady Gaga

If Coldplay is this generation’s U2, then Gaga is thought by many to be the evolutionary Madonna. As such, it’d be a surprise if the Powers That Be chose Gaga a year after the Material Girl’s performance at Super Bowl XLVI. Timing necessitates a longer commercial shelf life for Gaga, no small task in a fickle pop world.

Lady Gaga playing the Super Bowl a year after Madonna? Not likely.
Lady Gaga playing the Super Bowl a year after Madonna? Not likely. (Chris Pizzelo/Associated Press)

7. Rush

We’ve heard that Rush is the most underrated band in rock history so often the last few years they’ve become almost overrated because of it. Still, they have an extensive catalog of hits, and the band reached a new generation of fans when “Tom Sawyer” showed up on the video game “Rock Band 3.” Still, Rush? We don’t want to come off as anti-Canadian, but we don’t see it.

6. Metallica

The heavy metal legends certainly have the resume to put together a killer setlist (including the no-brainer “Enter Sandman”), but is Metallica mainstream enough to play the Super Bowl? It really depends on who you ask, but if it hasn’t happened yet it probably won’t happen now.

5. AC/DC

As The Who proved in Super Bowl XLIV, it’s not always a great idea to trot out a veteran rock band and assume they’ll be able to summon past glories. In fact, we’d like to enact an unofficial bylaw that disqualifies rock bands that feature members in their 60s. (If you’re a Beatle or Rolling Stone, this does not apply). In another decade, AC/DC were a great choice. Sadly, the window has closed.

4. The Black Keys

This would be the painfully transparent choice if the Powers That Be wanted to “hip up” halftime. The Black Keys have a loyal fan base and some great songs, but if we're going with a critically adored midwestern rock act, we'd much rather see a White Stripes reunion.

Foo Fighters and frontman Dave Grohl are a logical choice to play the Super Bowl.
Foo Fighters and frontman Dave Grohl are a logical choice to play the Super Bowl. (Joel Ryan/Associated Press)

3. Pearl Jam

Though it’s easy to dismiss this option citing Eddie Vedder’s well-known aversion to the commercial aspects of fame (the man once tried to bring down Ticketmaster, after all), it's possible Pearl Jam might be ready for the Super Bowl. The 2011 Cameron Crowe documentary "Pearl Jam Twenty" showed a group finally comfortable in its skin. Pearl Jam in 1993 wouldn't go near this event, but Pearl Jam in 2013? Could be a different story. Our dark horse.

2. Van Halen

Let’s see if David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen can get through their upcoming reunion tour without killing each other before discussing this one.

1. Foo Fighters

According to Rolling Stone, Foo Fighters were the overwhelming choice by readers to play halftime. Like Coldplay, Foo Fighters are at a stage in their career where playing the Super Bowl makes complete sense. They've been around long enough where even casual fans of rock music know their hits, but are still young enough to make the Powers That Be come off as hip. Let's make it happen.

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