Here's a quick look at some highs and lows from the past two decades of Super Bowl halftime show performances (post-1992, so the 1989 "Be Bop Bamboozled in 3-D" featuring Elvis Presto, South Florida-area dancers and performers, with an introduction by Bob Costas and 3-D commercial for Diet Coke, gets a pass).
1993 at the Rose Bowl (Pasadena)
It was such an innocent time. Jackson was just the mildly eccentric biggest pop star in the world. But just like his appearance at the Motown 25th Anniversary, this was a game-changer. Apparently any time you can bust out "Billie Jean," people take notice.
2007 at Sun Life Stadium (Miami Gardens, Fla.)
His Purple Majesty seemed to pack twice as many songs into his set as any other performers on record. Was his version of "Proud Mary" a tribute to the undervalued rock contributions of Ike Turner or a shout to John Fogerty's servitude to Saul Zaentz? Add in twin go-go dancers and that wild guitar, and this is what you want in a halftime show.
2002 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans)
The tribute to 9/11 heroes and victims had the best mix of respect and celebration you could hope for: "Beautiful Day," "MLK" and "Where the Streets Have No Name" all sounded terrific.
2009 at Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Fla.)
The Boss knows how to work a room or a stadium, for that matter. His sound and show worked perfectly with signature tunes "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out," "Born to Run" and "Glory Days."
The Blues Brothers Bash
1997 at the Louisiana Superdome (New Orleans)
It hurts to have to include this because the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, was on the bill, and I'm sure his brief segment of "I Got You (I Feel Good)" nearly redeemed the disaster of Dan Aykroyd, John Goodman and James Belushi as the Blues Brothers. Somehow ZZ Top played on this show and they all jammed "Gimme Some Lovin' " at the end. Oh, my.
"Celebration of Soul, Salsa and Swing"
1999 at Pro Player Stadium (Miami Gardens, Fla.)
How did Kiss get in on this?
The Black Eyed Peas
2011 at Dallas Cowboys Stadium (Arlington, Texas)
They can't sing, can't rap, lack stage presence and wear ridiculous outfits. How are these people stars? Usher and Slash suffered collateral damage.