I never saw the end of the Super Bowl. If we’re being honest, I didn’t know who was playing until the week before. If we’re being even more honest, I think we were all winners from the moment pre-show coverage began, because the world got to watch Tom Brady take his seat in the stands.
Come on, somebody had to to say it.
Coldplay and co., however, were the unequivocal winners of Super Bowl 50. At halftime, the stadium was bathed in a rainbow flair, reminiscent of Coldplay’s latest album cover. The amount of color alone made Levi’s Stadium look like it was designed by a team of “My Little Pony” fans.
In my humble opinion, this was not a football game with a halftime show, but rather a stellar halftime show sandwiched by mediocre sportage. Before you jump down my throat, let me try to explain myself. I am aware of the controversy surrounding Beyonce’s “Black Panthers” tribute, but aren’t enough people talking about that already? Let’s focus on the redeeming attributes of last Sunday’s show.
1. Chris Martin was wearing what appeared to be light-up sneakers. In retrospect, I do not know if they actually lit up, or if the teal-and-pink design was simply reflecting the electric rainbow emanating from within the heart of the stage. Regardless, they were the kind of shoes I thought I had outgrown 11 years ago. But if Coldplay’s frontman can wear them, so can I. You all have my 2016 Christmas list now. Don’t disappoint me.
According to SB Nation, Martin’s shoes were designed by his son (which, if you have even glanced at a cover of People Magazine in the past year, is especially sweet, since Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow went through a relatively messy split in 2014). I have always admired Martin for being an inimitable presence in pop culture; his latest footwear only reinforces that respect. Faceless Twitter users made nasty comments about Martin looking like “the kind of preschool teacher you don’t let your kids stay after school with.” I disagree. Yes, Martin is famous — or in this case, infamous — for singing, dancing and dressing like nobody is watching. But this past Sunday, he knew there was at least one person in the audience. He knew his son was out there.
Go ahead and mock that, @biebergirl447.
2. Whether knowingly or not, the guest performers played up a strong “Grease” vibe in their leather-themed, throwback dance-off, especially appropriate in the wake of the positive reviews following Fox’s recent stab at live TV theater. Bruno Mars’ T-Birds and Beyonce’s Pink Ladies met around the 50-yard line and cut loose to a resounding “Uptown Funk”/”Formation” medley, and I think we can all admit that it was exactly what we had been waiting for in life.
This aspect of the performance also paid homage to Michael Jackson’s 1993 halftime show. Beyonce said in an interview with Essence magazine that her specific outfit had been designed to honor the late pop star’s mid-90s military motif.
3. It was a fun show, for people on both sides of the TV. During the entire eight-minute performance, I couldn’t believe how much fun the performers were having. Even when Bruno and Bey faced off in an ominous moment of pop-star rivalry, I could see smiles breaking out at the corners of their mouths. And except for a few beats of unnecessary twerking from the Pink Ladies, it was a show that wouldn’t tempt a conscientious mother to change the channel until halftime was over. I respect that.
The moment that sealed the deal for me, however, was the last second or two of on-air TV coverage. It was not easy to spot if you weren’t looking for it, but all three performers threw focus to the crowd as the music ended. There was no final tableau. Instead, the camera panned out over a sea of wild-eyed fans — the lucky football fanatics who had the privilege of witnessing the greatest Super Bowl halftime show of all time.
Well, except for Michael Jackson in ’93. Or Janet Jackson in ’04.
That was a joke. Calm down, all you conscientious mothers. Don’t change the channel, I’ll be good.