Coldplay Plays The Super Bowl

The nip slip was the best thing to ever happen to the Super Bowl.

After Prince’s triumphant performance that is.

Quick, name who won that nip slip game! Or even last year’s game?

The Super Bowl is a national holiday wherein we all come together to eat too much, get drunk and have fun. A gathering of the tribes nearly eclipsed by the MTV Video Music Awards in its heyday. Which is why the NFL hired MTV to produce the nip slip triumph (never call it a fiasco, that’s a misnomer.) The footballers wanted some of that controversy for themselves.

And they got it.

Now nudity is so prevalent online that “Playboy” has deleted it from its magazine and the Pirelli calendar shows no boobs. That’s what you do when confronted with a changing landscape, you deliver the unexpected, you get one step ahead.

Who lost in the nip slip?

Certainly not Justin Timberlake. And Janet Jackson is still doing boffo at the b.o. As for CBS, the hosting channel? Les Moonves oversees a juggernaut.

So why play it safe now?

We know what’s in it for Coldplay. In a world where you can’t gain everybody’s attention why not go to where the most eyeballs are and then put your tickets on sale the next day. Coldplay holding back its album from Spotify is like putting the efforts of a has-been behind a paywall. Coldplay’s over the hump, it’s history, it was buoyed by MTV and VH1 when they still played music, and the world’s least dangerous band has lost its hold on the public mind. (Unless you’re a housewife, but you already spent most of your capital on Adele, who doesn’t need this circus to sell tickets, even though she’d be the logical choice.)

The NFL has used up all the has-beens, classic rockers are too geriatric to excite the assembled multitude, and the best have already made an appearance. Why not feature the music that truly runs the NFL, hip-hop?

Jay Z is the host, of course. But Hova is surrounded by Kendrick and Drake and even Killer Mike. Lil Wayne runs out for a cameo and then Dr. Dre is lowered from the heavens as Snoop Dogg goes into “Gin and Juice.”

Half of America would be thrilled.

And half of America would be vomiting!

Can you imagine the aftermath, the explication of rap’s history, the meaning of the lyrics, the offense taken by those who believe they know better, even though they don’t, not knowing Drake is a bigger star on Spotify than Adele. Yes, “Hotline Bling” is bigger than “Hello.” Because music lives on streaming services, not in CD racks or at the iTunes Store.

The NFL is in the entertainment business, so why not give the public what it wants, ENTERTAINMENT!

Forget the vocal minority imploring you to play it safe. Why would a public enraptured of Snapchat and Instagram be interested in a band that made its bones before Facebook hit the scene?

But Beyonce and Bruno Mars are thrown in for spice.

But wait a minute, didn’t we just see them?

Or is this counterprogramming, since the players are constantly testing limits and the coaches are looking for an edge maybe the NFL wants to whitewash the entire enterprise.

And speaking of white, could Coldplay be any more Caucasian? They don’t look like the NFL, no way.

So this is where we’re at. Music is all about marketing. Testing limits and saying no are history.

And sports are all about protecting the past, taking no risks, when our entire society is living on the cutting edge, knowing what happens today probably won’t be remembered tomorrow, never mind tonight.

The Super Bowl only comes around once a year. And you don’t want to blow the opportunity. You don’t want to give people what they think they want, you want to blow their minds!

Stay one step ahead of the populace or you lose your hold on popular culture. That’s what happened to MTV.

Coldplay has one number one hit. Drake has five. It’d be like playing your retired QB instead of Andrew Luck, huh?

Don’t make the same mistake. Don’t blow your opportunities. No one’s too big to fail, that’s the message of “The Innovator’s Dilemma.” If you think the NFL is forever, you’ve probably had a concussion. And ask boxing how it feels about mixed martial arts. Meanwhile, would you rather own the New England Patriots or Manchester United? If you say the former you’re a myopic fan who doesn’t realize we live in a worldwide economy.

America’s greatest export is its entertainment.

And we punt the ball and give our greatest promotional opportunity to this wimpy group from England?

No, you bring out the heavy hitters, the hip-hoppers.

So now we’ve got nothing to talk about but the game. Which admittedly has been good in recent years, but there’s no guarantee, usually it’s a snooze-fest. But to see America’s greatest collection of rappers on stage at one time?

Sign me up for that!

P.S. Read this “New York Times” article wherein it is stated that hip-hop and R&B represent 17% of album sales, but 26% of streams. Listens, not purchases. That’s where the action is, baby.

“Hip-Hop and R&B Fans Embrace Streaming Music Services”

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