With a worldwide audience of nearly a hundred million viewers, you’d think the show producers would want to create the best performance ever. That no longer seems to be the case.

I’m specifically referring to the performance of pop music singers Shakira and Jennifer Lopez during the Super Bowl LIV Half Time Show, held on February 2nd, 2020.

First off, before people start throwing eggs at their computer screens because of these outlandish claims, I will admit Shakira IS talented. She just chose not to exhibit this talent in her performance.

The woman is beautiful. There is no denying that, and her music isn’t horrible. However, one of my issues is the fact she had the biggest audience on the planet, yet she chose to horribly lip-sync her hits. That’s really lame.

As for Jennifer Lopez, I do question the talent with her. She is decent studio performer, meaning digital enhancements and auto-tune are what created her hits, but if you’ve ever heard her sing live, you’d understand why she also lip-synced.

When you’re known as a singer and you’re jumping around on a stage half naked and dancing on a pole (while not actually singing), there is another word for this form of entertainment. It’s called stripper.

The producers opted to use the nakedness of the performers as a distraction from them actually performing, because they probably knew the show would be horrible (or more horrible than it was). But the NFL hasn’t cared about presenting a truly entertaining show in recent years, nor presenting a “family friendly” performance for a long time, so why would they care now?

Why Were They There?

The motivation behind these ladies performing was two fold. First, it was in Miami, so they obviously needed to have a Hispanic theme. The message behind the performance was, “to uplift Latino women” (the NFL’s prime audience?). If we are trying to show young Latino women that they can have bright futures as nude pole dancers, I guess the performance was a success.

Another question being asked was, “who were the rapper guys” who performed with both Shakira and Lopez? Again, being it’s the biggest show in the world, shouldn’t the NFL feature acts the audience actually knows? And for the record, these guys weren’t that impressive either. Overall, the performances were rather bland. There was nothing memorable to leave the audience with a “wow” factor.

Why are the performances so bad?

It’s an interesting reason why this show sucked, as well as last year (and future shows as well). Rap music mogul Jay-Z is now in control of the half time entertainment. Jay-Z’s agency, Roc Nation, recently announced a partnership with the National Football League (NFL) in August of 2019.

The announcement said a “major component” of Roc Nation’s role would be “to nurture and strengthen community through football and music”, working with the “Inspire Change” initiative, a social justice effort from the NFL and the Players Coalition.

Uhhh….Okay.

With “nurturing and strengthening” as a major component, this leaves the conclusion that entertainment is NOT a priority. In other words, Super Bowl performances are about propaganda. 

Did you catch the reference during this year’s half time show with the Hispanic kids singing in cages? Jay-Z has been quite vocal about President Trump and his policies. This was a subtle, yet obvious jab at US immigration policy.

Jay-Z’s influence extended to shows prior to this year (remember his wife Beyonce’s performance at Super Bowl 50 where she premiered her very controversial song Formation?).

I believe the NFL has one job. That job is to play football.

For a few hours on one day each year (more so than Thanksgiving and Christmas), the Super Bowl is a time where America stops. Family and friends come together to have fun, NOT wanting to think about the problems of the world.

Maybe I’m getting old, but I think the half time show should actually be entertaining. It doesn’t need to be a platform for opinion and political statements, or lack of talent simply because someone wants to use exploitation as a way to send a message.

I get that with a captive audience as large as the Super Bowl, there will surely be unscrupulous propaganda, but we expect that with the commercials, NOT the entertainment or the game. 

The NFL doesn’t need to nurture or strengthen anything but the game.

If the NFL is so concerned about the well-being of the community, stop charging $10,000 to $1,000,000 for a seat at the Super Bowl. Stop charging $90 for parking at regular season games. And stop paying millions of dollars to people who are horrible role models for our kids.

The Super Bowl has come a long way since the first one in 1970, but not necessarily in a good way. Maybe that’s why I like hockey.

~ Marty ~


Marty Augustine - Writer, Author, Entetrtainer

Marty is a Kansas City based writer and music maker who doesn’t dance on poles.

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