How do you match an incredibly boring Superbowl game of back-and-forth punting between Tom Brady’s Patriots and the LA Rams? Through an equally and resoundingly underwhelming Superbowl halftime performance from Maroon 5, Big Boi, and Travis Scott—that’s how.
The Atlantic called it “forgettable.” The Washington Post called it “the Superbowl halftime that erased itself.” USA Today says it “was a flavorless halftime show” that “avoids being the worst.”
In fact, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the Superbowl halftime is where creative expression goes to die, and commercially bland sellout acts come to thrive. Last year, Justin Timberlake gave an equally bland performance that was wrought with scandal from that posthumous duet that had Prince rolling in his grave. It hasn’t been since Beyoncé‘s 2017 performance that the Halftime has seen anything of real artistic merit.
Let’s face it, the NFL has become a beacon of politics whether or not the organization chooses to publically recognize it. Maroon 5 had already faced slack for picking up the job, given how Rihanna and Cardi B had turned down offers to stand in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick. And despite the 100,000 fans who petitioned Maroon 5 to drop out of the spot, they went ahead with it anyway.
Ever since the infamous Janet Jackson debacle, the Roger Goodell-led organization has decidedly chosen to keep Superbowl Halftime performers tame, boring, and mutable. On the one hand, great for wholesome family entertainment. On the other, terrible for artist intent—and not to mention, their careers.