Putting together a dream Super Bowl 50 halftime show


Here's something you probably could have guessed: The NFL is going all out for its Super Bowl 50 halftime show.

For evidence, look no further than Thursday night's halftime announcement that an announcement of one halftime act at Super Bowl 50 will be made during -- wait for it -- halftime of Thursday Night Football next week.

Got that?

The news release rolled out by the league on Thanksgiving night hints at an even bigger scope for an event that's rarely lacked ambition in the post-MJ era (that's 1993 and onward). From the release: "As part of the year-long celebration of Super Bowl 50 ... the NFL announced today the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show on CBS will echo elements of the NFL's On the Fifty campaign -- honoring the past, recognizing the present and looking ahead to the next 50 years."

Now, you might be thinking, 'Dan, you're a phony and a liar. You work for the NFL. Of course you already know the details of the Super Bowl halftime show."

First of all, back off. You don't know me. Second, you're incorrect. Nobody tells me anything. I am not deemed to be an employee who warrants access to classified information. I know as much as you. We're all in this together!

So what do us outsiders know? Well, the release states that "one halftime act" will be revealed next Thursday. We can expect multiple performers -- and I doubt they mean it in a Katy-Perry-with-cameos-from-Lenny-Kravitz-and-Missy-Elliott kind of way. Our guess is there will be multiple standalone A-list acts, covering different generations to honor the Super Bowl's golden anniversary.

So who will it be? It's been widely reported that Bruno Mars has been asked back after his impressive showing at Super Bowl XLVIII. Respect the drum solo. I can imagine the charismatic Mars serving as a sort of emcee for the event, with the inescapable "Uptown Funk" finding its way into the setlist. (Congrats Mark Ronson, you have yourself a Super Bowl ticket!)

And if Mars is indeed coming back, I'll further theorize he'll be joined by past Super Bowl halftime acts that struck a chord with the public. With that mind, here would be my roster:

U2: Their post-9/11 set during Super Bowl XXXVI was a career highlight for the band. Bono and Co. will be in between legs of a world tour in February, so the timing works out. This also dutifully checks the Dad Rock box with the big plus of U2 being a veteran band that still has its fastball in a live setting. That's not always the case *cough* The Who *cough*.

Paul McCartney: Macca  delivered a strong set in his Super Bowl XXXIX gig, and what better way to nod to 50 years of music and entertainment than to welcome back a freaking Beatle? The Rolling Stones ( Super Bowl XL) also work here, but McCartney feels like the better choice.

Hall of Fame voting
Prince: Prince's Super Bowl XLI performance seemed to be universally adored -- he played "Purple Rain" in the rain, mannnnnn, plus that great, random, Foo Fighters cover -- and he remains a huge influence on the hitmakers of today. A perfect bridge artist for an event that spans the generations. Plus, Prince is cool.

Janet Jackson: This is a pipe dream in a post-Nipplegate world, but people would flip if the lights came up and Janet was doing her "If" dance. Twitter might explode. Again, this will never, ever, ever happen. And yet, I feel this possibility should be floated by somebody. If that somebody is me, so be it.

The Black Eyed Peas: This was just to see if you're still paying attention. The Black Eyed Peas are bad at music.

Beyonce: Queen B (do people really call her that?) killed it in Super Bowl XLVII. Killed it so hard the spectacle of her performance was initially blamed for the Superdome blackout and subsequent destruction of Colin Kaepernick's career. OK, only half of this is true.

There are plenty of other options (you can check out the full list of past acts here). I'm sure there's somebody out there who thinks the best halftime mashup would include Up With People, Nelly and the Southeast Missouri State Marching Band. That's cool. No judge zone.

Step 1: Round up the above artists. I'm sure this will be a simple process.

Step 2: Ask Kanye if he'll do it (He won't, citing a lack of creative control and the need for his performance to last deep into the third quarter).

Step 3: Call Taylor Swift.

Swift is, in many ways, the perfect centerpiece for this event. She's reached Springsteen-in-'85 levels of hugeness and, at just 25 years old, checks the boxes both as a star of now and tomorrow. Swift has the catalogue of hits to pull it off and has sway to get more acts involved -- as we've seen during her current tour. Katy Perry was a nice appetizer last year, but Swift is the biggest pop star alive. How could she not be the star attraction of pop culture's biggest spectacle?

(Plus, my 15-month-old son would be all in because he believes Taylor Swift to be his one true love.)

So there you have it. McCartney and Beyonce duet. U2. Prince. Taylor Swift. Bruno Mars serving as master of ceremonies with a Janet cameo to make heads explode. The greatest 12 minutes in pop music history.

Think my vision is terrible? I invite you to cook up your own halftime show in the comment section. Be nice to each other.