NEW ORLEANS -- Sometimes the best solution to a problem is the simplest one.
Beyonce stepped to the microphone at her Super Bowl news conference on Thursday, asked the hundreds in attendance to rise, then launched into a two-minute and three-second version of "The Star-Spangled Banner." No musical accompaniment. Not a note out of place. She pretty much killed it.
After the applause died down, Beyonce asked, "Any questions?" Well played by the Super Bowl XLVII halftime performer.
Will it cease the (relative) furor over her lip-synched National Anthem performance at President Obama's inauguration? Probably not, but it was a savvy move by a pop star who plays the game at an expert level. Beyonce has been very famous for a long time now. Being a great entertainer is only part of the reason why.
Some other takeaways from our end ...
» Asked who she was rooting for on Sunday, Beyonce replied, "I can't say that." This was baffling at first, before we realized: If she upsets one fan from Baltimore or San Francisco, that might be one less fan to buy her album or attend her concert. Again, you don't stay famous this long without calculation.
» We tried to ask a question, but were outmuscled by a cadre of fawning entertainment reporters that could've been camped out in this convention center since November. omg! Insider reporter Kevin Frazier -- the guy walking around with a big cardboard hashtag at Media Day -- looked legitimately nervous before the press conference. This was his Super Bowl.
» Beyonce answered all the questions about her inauguration performance with a smile. She explained that she didn't have enough rehearsal time to feel comfortable singing without a backing track. OK.
» Beyonce has no hate for "haters." Confirmed.
» Sadly, only one foreign reporter got to ask a question (this is always the best opportunity for a presser of this magnitude to go off the rails). The reporter -- a man from Denmark -- asked Beyonce what color her toothbrush was. Disappointing.
» Some guy next to me kept breaking into applause every time Beyonce completed a statement. I wanted to hit him.
» Beyonce told NFL.com's Akbar Gbajabiamila that performing at the Super Bowl has been a career aspiration for her. "I thank God I've been given this opportunity. You work very hard for these moments and I'm just hoping all my life lessons and life experiences can be used for this performance." Congrats, Akbar.
» Her toothbrush is blue. You deserve to know.