Super Bowl 54 is on for South Florida in 2020 and for millions of football fans that means one major question remains.
Who should perform the halftime show?
This is, after all, a big party. Super Bowl 54, or Super Bowl LIV in NFL-speak, marks the conclusion of the league’s centennial anniversary. The Dolphins, the only undefeated team in the Super Bowl era, get to play host.
When the Dolphins defeated the Washington Redskins at Super Bowl VII at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to clinch that 17-0 season in 1972-73 under Coach Don Shula, halftime performers the University of Michigan Marching Band, bandleader Woody Herman and crooner Andy Williams assuredly goosed the Dolphins to victory.
OK, maybe not.
But who for 2020?
Miami has hosted 10 Super Bowls and the last one, XLIV in 2010, featured half The Who at half the wattage. We won’t get fooled again.
Arguably the best Super Bowl halftime performer of them was Prince who played the Dolphin Stadium grounds in Miami Gardens for XLI in 2007. Prince even managed to make it rain for his climactic performance of Purple Rain. Sadly, we know that can’t happen again.
Super Bowl LIV demands a major name. An icon that can compete with all the attendant hoopla surrounding the game and event.
Should it be a classic rocker with the catalog to draw from (Paul McCartney, XXXIX; The Rolling Stones, XL; Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, XLIII)?
A contemporary act plucked from today’s pop charts (Beyoncé, XLVII; Katy Perry, XLIX)? Or someone previously untapped (Taylor Swift)?
Whoever it is, they have to leave people talking till Super Bowl 100, er Super Bowl C.
Now that’s pressure. Here are some suggestions:
Yes, we know. Nipplegate at Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004. The boy wonder took his song Rock Your Body too literally when he tugged Janet Jackson’s top from her black leather outfit, exposing her breast, which led to the phrase “wardrobe malfunction.” But we’ve all moved on. And his most recent album was called The 20/20 Experience. There you go. He’s foretold his return to the Super Bowl stage.
No. On all things holy, no.
Our hometown girl has done the Super Bowl thing before, a couple times, including at Super Bowl XXXIII at Pro Player Stadium in 1999. But with a hit Broadway bio musical on the boards now (On Your Feet!) and a national tour sure to be on the road before 2020, the time could be right for Estefan to represent again.
He is Mr. 305, after all. And given his frequent visits to the Dancing With the Stars stage, he knows from spectacle and colorful costumes. And he already has reached out to Dolphins owner Stephen Ross about playing a role.
OK, he frequents basketball games, but the Canadian rapper is red hot right now and shows no sign of slowing down. We bet he gets in the football frame of mind for 2020.
The most commercially successful American band of all time has never played the halftime show for America’s most popular sport. The death this year of co-founder and group leader Glenn Frey has led bandmate Don Henley to say the Eagles are no more. But the members did pull together for one last performance at the Grammys in February. Given that most of the Eagles’ greatest hits were recorded in Miami, a one-time reunion on our turf for Super Bowl LIV could be a fitting farewell and lasting tribute.
The enduring If I Could Turn Back Time diva and Twitter firebrand sang a triumphant National Anthem at Super Bowl XXXIII here in 1999 on the heels of her biggest hit, Believe. Time for her to take the game’s main stage in 2020?
The South Florida troubadour’s Fins briefly dethroned the Dolphin’s fight song when Buffett entered into a business partnership with Dolphins owner Stephen Ross in 2009. The use of Fins even led to a brief renaming of the Dolphins’ home to Land Shark Stadium in honor of the beer Buffett shilled. If any pop performer knows how to throw a festive party it’s the Margaritaville mogul — and he is ours.
Speaking of the Dolphins’ fight song, you know it was really songwriter Lee Ofman’s Miami Dolphins No. 1 in 1972 that spurred the team to that perfect season. Ofman’s infectious ditty — “Miami has the Dolphins/The greatest football team/We take the ball from goal to goal like no one’s ever seen” — is still in your head. Admit it. Now a 70-year-old attorney who moved to Tennessee, perhaps it’s time to pay back Ofman for giving Miami its (in)famous sports anthem.