With the football season kicking off last week, today the NFL announced that pop rock band Maroon 5 will perform the halftime show for 2019’s Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. As in previous years, the announcement has spurred a wave of discontented outcry online, with the main argument against stemming from the fact that a city with as much musical history as Atlanta should be able to field a local act with as much broad spectrum appeal as Maroon 5.
Or maybe the mega-corporate ownership of the NFL could try to forego mass appeal for once? After all, one of the league’s biggest business partners just made a huge show of endorsing the current thorn in the league’s paw, Colin Kaepernick, after the NFL basically excommunicated and blackballed him through the 2017-2018 season. Now, Kap’s embroiled the league in a complaint for collusion to keep him off the field for his non-violent protest, so it’s likely the NFL could use a PR win and embrace the increasing diversity of the country that has largely rallied behind the former QB.
If the NFL did want to imitate the tremendous growth that rival leagues like the NBA have gained by embracing youth culture, it could do worse than signing on an Atlanta-based hip-hop act to project a progressive sense of cool over the once-stodgy proceedings of its biggest game of the year. While it’s probably already way too late for them to reconsider Maroon 5 — who are likely to bring out a bunch of progressive hip-hop acts of their own, judging from their most recent album, which featured Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, and Future — in our idealized, fictional world, these are the rappers and singers who could carry the halftime show through sheer showmanship and a catalog of certified hits.