It’s difficult to imagine there being another half-time performance as epic as the Super Bowl halftime show; and more importantly, who would even try to come up with one? It’s the defining moment of competition between the respective NFC and AFC champions – where adoring fans are given the opportunity to cut loose, rock out in their seats or jump to their feet (considering the seriousness of the sport).
It’s probably safe to say there aren’t any celebratory performances in the realm of professional sports that can rival the commercial appeal and excitement of the NFL Super Bowl halftime show (not to mention the hilarious TV ads that make for great water cooler chat), and this year the NFL is making no exceptions. But, interestingly enough, what may be harder than imagining a center-stage performance equivalent, maybe the ability to comprehend the artistic ‘tszuj’ a performer must first possess in order to be considered a candidate for the highly anticipated display of performance mastery. A person would certainly need a reputation for bringing their AAA game to the stage, every show, every time: with a blast of creativity that can help them back it up. But, it’s different when you’ve already proven yourself and you have the crowd screaming your name long before you step to the stage. Different for who, you ask?
When your initials are J.T. (yes, as in Justin Timberlake), there’s no hard or fast measuring stick by which a panel of judges would dare vote the probability of your performance ability. The invitation is simply extended in hopes of getting a ‘yes’. Well, for this year’s performance the invitation was sent, and now that we’re on the other side of the offer, we can tell you with certainty Justin has accepted! He has agreed to grace the stage before millions of fans with a performance that screams ‘Super Bowl LII Swag’!
The Super Bowl ostensibly represents a stout intersection of technical prowess, cultural dominance, and top-dollar marketing. So, for the NFL’s production panel to book a halftime performer who embodies all of these virtues, I think we can all agree – they got this one right! When an artist has 10 Grammy Awards, 4 Emmy’s and an Oscar nomination to his credit, he has more than earned his rightful place at center-stage for this historic event. And if you examine it more closely, all of the hallmarks that make him a superstar: stunning vocal dexterity, presentation of swagger, dynamic song selection with svelte timing transitions, impeccable crowd control and a robust band sound, it makes it easy to see why he was hand-picked.
“The 20/20 Experience” singer/producer will be headlining Pepsi’s NFL Superbowl LII Halftime show, billed to be filled with good soul, and a vibe that makes Minneapolis proud to host the event. And this is not to say fans weren’t appreciative of past performances; but, with Justin, it’s different (different with a cool and classy connotation attached to the idea).
Well, now that we know the ‘who’, let’s explore the ‘what’. What can we expect from the 37 y/o “SexyBack” performer, who has been at the top of his game for the past 20-years? Let’s see, he probably wouldn’t make the audience suffer through an awkward performance – in a final grasp at what could be perceived as a statement of relevance (because remember, he’s already at the top of the performance chain). And he certainly won’t muddle through a compilation of hits with the enthusiasm of a cadaver caught in the purgatory of ’emerging hit-maker’ and ‘legendary act’. No, he’s just not that guy. But, whatever he has in store for us, we can all rest assured that we are about to witness something that has been polished to sheer perfection. This is not Justin’s first rodeo; he knows the performance elements, we want to see, and a few new moves we didn’t know he had. And before anyone dares to ask, yes, he will deliver!
If you want to watch the live action go down ‘J.T.-style’ during the Super Bowl’s 52nd celebration (Eagles vs. Patriots|February 4, 2018|U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis|NBC Sports Live – Kickoff 3 p.m PST nbcsports.com), all it takes from you is one click to tune in. You won’t be disappointed. The game will be an explosive must-see display of professional prowess (Go Patriots! … Go Eagles!), and regardless of which team dominates the on-the-field battle for the ‘dub’ – you’re guaranteed an exciting halftime performance (Go Justin!).
As the world watches the elite showmanship of the best players in American football, let’s say a prayer for their safety and well-being as well as the officials who call the game and enforce the rules. May the players remain healthy during and after this adrenaline-filled event, and may the audience cherish the memory of this historical occasion as one of both dominance and unity.
When the glow sticks begin to fill the air signaling a pause in gameplay (to mark the moment the “Man of the Woods” singer appears on-stage before them), let’s applaud J.T.’s long-awaited return to the Super Bowl venue and what this experience must mean for him. Let us smile and cheer him on #Together, as we remember this event as something we can be proud of.
Our team here at ‘theTZelement’ Mag will be celebrating both teams, as well as celebrating you wherever you happen to be at kickoff. But, if it’s okay with you, this time around let’s go into the celebration a bit differently this year. So that we are careful not to undermine Justin’s song selection or his originality, let’s silently echo the lyrical sentiment of ‘The Purple One’ himself (… Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today get through this thing called life). We’re certain his spirit lives in the heart of the city, and Mr. Timberlake will do his part to honor that notion as his performance puts us in a united frame of mind. Let’s all do our part to pass the baton of unity and kindness (as we travel abroad, commute to work, move about our communities and see our way back for future Super Bowl celebrations).
As we observe the brawny on-filed match-up and ‘J.T.’s unmatched dance moves – we respectfully ask that you consider the three colors that represent significance and prominence to Americans (Red … White and Blue). These colors wave proudly over our nation at all times. They defy any force that works in opposition of the very freedom they so richly represent. They are bold hues that speak to what the Patriots, Eagles and Justin may not be able to socially convey during this public celebration. So, at the moment when our nation’s flag is leveled across a symbolic field of play (to represent the presence of freedom and equality) let’s be mindful of the fact that unlike or players and entertainers who move within their ticket roles … our colors don’t run.