Who should play at halftime of Super Bowl XLVI?

during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on February 6, 2011. UPI/Brian KerseyThe Black Eyed Peas perform during halftime of Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on February 6, 2011. UPI/Brian Kersey

In the last few days after Super Bowl XLV, there has been much discussion about the halftime performance of the Black Eyed Peas. Our own Anthony Stalter was not a fan, and when I spoke to a few of the guys on my Tuesday night basketball team, they weren’t all that thrilled with the Peas either.

I am admittedly not a huge BEP fan, though I do like a few of the songs, especially “I Gotta Feeling” since my two-year old always marches and hops his way around our kitchen island whenever it comes on. I thought the halftime show was okay. Slash’s appearance was a nice surprise (though Fergie’s Axl Rose impersonation left a bit to be desired) and they did a nice job with lit-up dancers around the stage. However, if I never saw Usher perform again, I think I’d be all right with that.

It got me thinking — maybe I could lay some groundwork and help pick the artist/band to perform at next year’s Super Bowl.

Looking at this list of Super Bowl halftime shows, it’s interesting to note that the Super Bowl used marching bands up through most of the ’60s, ’70s and even the ’80s. It wasn’t until 1991 when the Super Bowl got a “big” name, when Disney produced a show that featured the New Kids on the Block. Through most of the ’90s, the halftime shows would feature a medley of acts, though Michael Jackson and Diana Ross did headline in 1993 and 1996, respectively.

After Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” in 2004 (produced by MTV), the powers-that-be went conservative over the next few years, booking Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones for the next two Super Bowls before going with Prince in 2007. His show was a bit risque as well (remember the shadow of his guitar?), so the Super Bowl followed up with Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and The Who before booking the Black Eyed Peas for 2011.

In many ways, the BEP booking makes sense. They’re mainstream enough that a vast majority of the SB audience would have heard at least one of their songs and they’re not going to risk the negative publicity by being particularly edgy or pushing the envelope in any way.

So where does that leave us? Most of the rock icons have already performed (adding U2, Sting, ZZ Top and Aerosmith to the previously mentioned classic rock acts), but a few names that jump out are AC/DC, the Eagles, Elton John and John Mellencamp. Since Super Bowl XLVI is in Indianapolis, an appearance by Mellencamp makes a lot of sense. AC/DC is probably too hard, though they could do a song or two as part of a medley of artists. The Eagles and Elton John are probably too soft to carry a halftime show by themselves.

What about a more contemporary artist?

Here are eight possibilities that make some sense, in increasing order of how much I’d like to see them get the gig (and what chance they’d have to pull it off if given the opportunity):

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I’m Just Saying…the Black Eyed Peas are best left in the studio.

Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas performs during half-time at the NFL’s Super Bowl XLV football game in Arlington, Texas, February 6, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL ENTERTAINMENT)

I’m just saying…

– Christina Aguilera had at least two weeks to prepare for the National Anthem and she still managed to change a word and skip an entire verse. Did someone forget to rub her the right way before she went out to midfield? Because you know you have to do that with her, right?

– What a game by Jordy Nelson: Nine catches, 140 yards receiving and one touchdown. Now imagine how good his numbers would have been had he not dropped two first down passes right in his hands.

– Speaking of drops…James Jones is lucky the Packers held on to the win because his drop in the third quarter was setting up to be the turning point in the game. Nobody can make a potential touchdown disappear faster than James Deandre Jones.

– I want to commend Bruce Arians for his decision to be aggressive when the Steelers were backed up to their own 7-yard line late in the first quarter. Rashard Mendenhall had just ripped the Packers for 24 yards on two carries in the previous series, so naturally Arians wanted to prove how smart he was by taking a shot downfield. Nick Collins and the Packers want to thank you for the gift, Bruce.

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Packers top sloppy Steelers to take home 45th Lombardi Trophy

Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson carries the Vince Lombardi championship trophy off the field after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL’s Super Bowl XLV football game in Arlington, Texas, February 6, 2011. REUTERS/Pierre Ducharme (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Here are five quick-hit observations from the Packers’ 31-25 victory over the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.

1. Aaron Rodgers, welcome to history.
I distinctly remember a few years ago when some Green Bay fans said that it was a mistake for GM Ted Thompson to choose Rodgers over Brett Favre. Hopefully those fans will happily eat a serving of crow after Sunday night because they were dead wrong. In a game where mistakes were aplenty, Rodgers made very few. He misfired on a few throws, but that’s just being nitpicky. For the most part, he was great and he would have been even better had guys like Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Brett Swain bothered to hang onto the ball. Mike McCarthy barely ran the ball in the second half, instead relying on Rodgers to win the game. After the Steelers took all the momentum in the third quarter, Rodgers stepped up and led the Packers on two huge scoring drives. On a night when he threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns, I wonder how much better his numbers would have been had his receivers not dropped so many passes. He didn’t have the game of his career, but he was excellent nonetheless. He now joins exclusive company as a Super Bowl-winning quarterback and MVP. As many football fans know, that now makes him virtually untouchable.

2. Once again, Green Bay battles through adversity.
How fitting was it that in a year when the Packers lost so many starters during the season that they would have to battle through more injury issues to win the Super Bowl. They lost two of their three defensive backs on consecutive plays near the end of the second quarter, including Pro Bowler and team leader Charles Woodson. Yet once again, they pushed through and overcame the hurdles that were placed in front of them. Let’s stop for a second and think about what this team was able to accomplish this year. They lost starters Ryan Grant, Jermichael Finley and Nick Barnett. They needed to win two games in Week 16 and Week 17 just to qualify for the playoffs. They had to win three straight games on the road in the postseason and then they suffered a couple of more key injuries in the Super Bowl and still won it all. Talk about a team of destiny. After they lost Woodson in the second quarter, it looked like they were headed for disaster in the second half. Yet they never trailed, which is a testament to the team that Ted Thompson built off the field and the team Mike McCarthy ran on it.

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