Rolling Stones will put on a world-class show
Published 8:11 am Monday, December 5, 2005
The National Football League incurred the wrath of many Detroiters Thursday by choosing the Rolling Stones instead of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” to provide halftime entertainment for Super Bowl XL Feb. 5.
More provincial picks included Aretha Franklin, Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, Kid Rock, Madonna, Eminem or the White Stripes.
Some even suggested a duet pairing the Queen of Soul with Eminem, a la the rapper's pairing with Elton John at the 2001 Grammys, or Eminem with Madonna.
With Detroit already defensive about its gritty image as the most dangerous city in America, the profane Marshall Mathers grabbing his crotch would certainly make everyone forget the notorious 2004 wardrobe malfunction.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy put it diplomatically when asked why choose Mick Jagger, 62, and the British band, cumulative age 247, over Eminem, 33.
Ironically, the Stones' durability of decades and generations, has, with time, transcended their deserved bad-boy reputation for drugs and sexploits.
Back in the day, the Stones, as well as 2005's Paul McCartney, would have been too controversial, too.
Previous headliners include Carol Channing (1970), a Duke Ellington tribute (1975) and Up with People's Big Band Era salute (1980).
As recently as 1998 the halftime show paid tribute to Motown's 40th anniversary, with Boys II Men, Smokey Robinson, Queen Latifah, Martha Reeves and the Temptations.
The Super Bowl's 30th anniversary in 1996 saw Diana Ross of the Supremes fly from the stadium in a helicopter.
The last time the Super Bowl was played in Michigan, in 1982 at the Pontiac Silverdome, the halftime theme was “A Salute to the '60s and Motown.” Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder have performed, so it's not like Motown has been snubbed. Kid Rock was on the bill in 2004, though pretty much overshadowed by Janet Jackson.
Details for pregame entertainment haven't been announced, but it's a good bet some concession will be made to Michigan's rich musical heritage.
While the Stones these days are more of an arena spectacle than a mere rock band - one grump compared them to the Teletubbies on Ice - they're still out there touring behind a strong new album, “A Bigger Bang,” though they will likely not be performing the track “Sweet Neo Con.”
That song is not the right fit for the NFL or the Super Bowl, either.