The Super Bowl is an annual celebration of Just Guy Things: homoerotic tight pants, dude-on-dude grappling, sports, balls, brews, and chili. Conversely, the Super Bowl halftime show is an incredibly flamboyant tribute to all things over the top, featuring big-name celebrities, elaborate pyrotechnics, and some of the best wardrobes (and wardrobe malfunctions) this side of the 2001 VMAs. No one has ever adequately explained the pairing of these two inherently disparate spectacles, and it’s difficult to imagine the Venn diagram of dedicated sports enthusiasts and people who are psyched to watch an extended Bruno Mars medley. Nonetheless we, the non-sports fans of America, are annually grateful for the Super Bowl halftime show, the saving grace of every game and the highlight of every Super Bowl party (also, a reassuring reminder that we’ve already made it through half of the Super Bowl).
Traditionally, the halftime show is reserved for the greats, like Prince, Beyoncé, and No Doubt (don’t even @ me). But naturally, since 2015 has already been the worst, Coldplay is slated to perform at this year’s Super Bowl halftime. The Chris Martin-fronted rock band is one of England’s most ambivalence-inducing exports. Sure, we all “like” “Yellow,” and, full disclosure, “The Scientist” still makes me cry every time. But in terms of discography and staying power, Coldplay isn’t fit to hold Janet Jackson’s nipple pasties. Their last album, 2014’s Ghost Stories, was pretty clearly a breakup record about Martin’s “conscious uncoupling” from Gwyneth Paltrow, a woman whose mission in life is doing snooty things like peddling $600 hand creams and calling her divorce a “conscious uncoupling.” Nobody has time for that, Chris.
Additionally, multiple folks have called out the band for musical plagiarism; Cat Stevens, Joe Satriani, and an obscure indie band all claimed that “Viva La Vida” ripped off their own intellectual property. A more preposterous suit surfaced in 2010, when a man named Sammie Lee Smith insisted that “Clocks,” “Trouble,” and “Yellow” were all plagiarized from his private sessions.
While Coldplay insists that they write all of their own music—though why anyone would want to take credit for all of Mylo Xyloto is beyond me—their Super Bowl appointment is still egregiously misinformed.
At this point, the band is quickly edging towards irrelevancy. Not since 2010’s ill-fated The Who performance has a Super Bowl halftime act been so hype-deficient. The Brits will be hyping their upcoming release, December 4’s A Head Full of Dreams. Other artists who are reportedly dropping albums next year include Elton John, Christina Aguilera, Drake, Frank Ocean, and Kanye West, all of whom would deliver far superior Super Bowl performances. In fact, West was apparently interested in the 2016 gig—NFL, why won’t you let Kanye be great?
It might seem nitpicky, even unnecessary to oppose this announcement so passionately. But the halftime show is more than just a chance to sell Pepsi to football fans. It’s a celebration of all things over the top, featuring the most fabulous living performers and/or holograms we’ve got. The last thing that America needs right now is a group of past their prime British rockers delivering a subpar show. I for one refuse to just be grateful that the theme isn’t an evening of white hip-hop featuring Iggy Azalea and Macklemore (I believe that this is the tentative theme of Donald Trump’s Inaugural Ball). Luckily, there are reports that Bruno Mars is slated to spice up the show, and Beyoncé is in talks to make a guest appearance. Hopefully, the Super Bowl will add a few other acts to the bill to save us all from Coldplay overload. Find me reluctantly by my television on February 7th, praying for a wardrobe malfunction and/or surprise Yeezus resurrection.