Opinion

NFL’s Greed Could Be Good News For Real Fans

What are the chances of getting the NFL to pay me to watch the Super Bowl halftime show?

Or better yet, how much would it take to get the NFL to forget the 30 minute halftime extravaganza and just take the usual 12 minute break?

In case you missed it, the money-grubbing capitalists, who are the NFL, have decided that it’s time to ask the Super Bowl halftime performers to pay for the privilege.

Of course, the first reaction from just about everybody is that the NFL is greedy.

That would be correct.

NFL owners want to squeeze every dollar they can out of every man, woman and child in America and the dollars they can’t squeeze, they’re happy to have the government squeeze for them.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the top choices for this year are Katy Perry, Coldplay and Rihanna. They wouldn’t have to actually buy the halftime show. They would agree to give the NFL a percentage of their post Super Bowl tour earnings.

Here’s hoping all the acts tell the NFL to go pound salt.

If nobody agrees to pay to play, real football fans might actually be spared the over the top, most likely lip-synched or auto-tuned 30 minute delay between halves and get the normal 12 minute break.

It took a few years before the NFL and various TV networks decided that a normal halftime break was too short and that the fans deserved a concert instead of a long bathroom break.

The first Super Bowl halftime show featured the University of Arizona Symphonic Marching Band, the Grambling State University Marching Band and trumpeter Al Hirt.

Super Bowl II in Miami settled for the Grambling band.

Super Bowl III, also in Miami, went for the Florida A&M University band and some local high school bands.

That was the year of the famous Joe Namath prediction, when the New York Jets upset the heavily favored Baltimore Colts. I don’t remember anybody saying, “Boy that was a great game, but when are they going to come up with a better halftime show?”

In the ‘70s, famous entertainers such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Andy Williams started showing up but they still managed to work in some type of marching band.

As late as 1984, Super Bowl XVIII’s halftime show was just the University of Florida and Florida State Marching bands. Don’t remember any complaints that year, either.

The NFL closed out the ‘80s with somebody named Elvis Presto and a bunch of South Florida area dancers at Super Bowl XXIII in 1989.

When did the halftime show take a turn for the worse for people interested in, you know, just watching the game? January 31, 1993. Super Bowl XXVII. Michael Jackson. The TV ratings went up at halftime and real football fans were doomed.

Let’s bring sanity back to the Super Bowl halftime show. Maybe the NFL could ask real football fans to send in a donation and if enough money is raised, fans who wouldn’t walk across the street to see Katy Perry, won’t have to worry about how to fill the 30 minutes until the second half kickoff.

The 12 minutes could be filled with an old standby act that would be more entertaining than most, if not all, previous Super Bowl halftime shows and it wouldn’t cost more than a couple hundred dollars.

A dog and a Frisbee.

Pittsburgh ex-TV sportscaster, columnist and talk show host John Steigerwald is the author of the Pittsburgh sports memoir, “Just Watch The Game.“ Follow him on Twitter.