By Elijah Bates
Since the dawn of the inaugural game itself, a combination of intelligent, semi-intelligent and downright stupid people have rallied together under a common cause, grabbing remotes en masse to avoid an expensive spectacle entirely unworthy of its cost. The spectacle? Halftime on Super Bowl Sunday. True, a host of these same individuals are usually either blacked out or colon-deep into a food coma by this point, yet even those who aren’t still rarely give a damn about the dreck typically pooped forward between the second quarter and the third.
With every epic show put on by The Who or Tom Petty, there’s an embarrassingly overproduced performance by Fergie and those three other dudes she keeps popular. For each appearance made by Janet Jackson’s strange nipple jewelry, there’s the odd disappearance of at least five different lyrics thanks to an ever-expanding Christina Aguilera. The inconsistency from game to game can be maddening, but it’s all the more reason to celebrate alternatives that exist now or have existed in the past. Welcome to Great Moments in Super Bowl Halftime History!
Puppy Bowl / Kitty Halftime Show
Look, it’d be wonderful if all these ideas came across as constructive, especially the first one. But seriously, if you’re not watching Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl during any second that the ball’s not active, then you have no soul. Doesn’t the outright cuteness of puppies in play just make you want to cry? No? How about the fact that they’re all rescues and going to great homes after the game? YOU DON’T CARE?! Fine, clearly you’re not a dog-person. Even so, the furry faces in the Kitty Halftime Show should still transform the coal of your black heart into a diamond.
The advent of CGI put a lot of good people out of work, including the stop-motion geniuses behind the Bud Bowl. From 1989 to 1997, even sober children fresh out of Sunday School could join in the Budweiser fun, albeit with their eyeballs instead of their taste buds (still the best way to enjoy an Anheuser-Busch product). Bottles of Bud Light, Bud Dry and Bud Ice would face off in a bout often better than the game itself. It even managed to be spoofed by The Simpsons, in its prime, which should be more than enough evidence to prove how amazing the Bud Bowl was…
Years ago, Dennis Rodman became the commissioner of something called the “Lingerie Bowl.” Immediately, I realized I needed to check out this pathetic piece of pay-per-view garbage (via illegal cable box, of course). As I peered closer at the players though, I realized one of them was actually from my high school! A Hooters girl turned slutty costume model (of the dead-behind-the-eyes, Halloween variety), she later went on to be dumped by Brody Jenner. This, dear friends, is the quality that the Lingerie Bowl offers, and that was during its glory years.
Sigh…remember back in the day, when wrestling was cool? Before drunken Southerners, foreign stereotypes and disorderly blood-letters were replaced by fluffy caricatures like John Cena and The Miz? Those were good times, when Vince McMahon was more concerned about picking fights with Bob Costas than he was with watering down his product in a failed attempt at buying his wife a Senate seat in Connecticut…I miss that era, where empty arena matches starred icons like The Rock and Mick Foley, and grappling falls were won by forklift. C’est la vie, Halftime Heat.
People claim MTV died for several reasons: no videos, The Real World, introducing us to Carson Daly, Jesse Camp, Sisqó, etc. But given that the death supposedly took place in the late 90s, it makes sense that replacing the Butt Bowl had something to do with it. Throughout the middle part of that decade, fans could rely on Beavis and Butt-head’s sick alternative to typical Halftime humdrum. Unfortunately, as they did with lots of their good ideas at this point, MTV shelved the Butt Bowl and replaced it with an uninspired clump of clay called Celebrity Deathmatch.
Was one of your favorite Halftime alternatives strangely absent? Did I miss a detail worthy of mention? Let me know! Let’s continue this conversation in the comment board below!
Elijah Bates leads the creative department at CitizenGlobal, a social media company in Venice Beach. When he’s not working, or contributing Best Of and Mancave articles to CBS, you’ll find him surfing the California coast & evading stingrays like trips to the dentist.