SAN FRANCISCO — Every year, the Super Bowl halftime show press conference is a piece of modern Americana.
Beyoncé admitted she had to lip-sync the Star-Spangled Banner at President Barack Obama’s 2013 inauguration because she hadn’t had time between practicing for the Super Bowl halftime show the same year. Last year, anthem singer Idina Menzel said her father was a gambler, and betting on the over-under for the anthem was later suspended due to suspicious betting patterns. Katy Perry, who was the halftime headliner, made a Deflategate joke involving her boobs. Great American moments, all.
For Super Bowl 50, the NFL went with Coldplay. They were charming and English, and were asked how this all came together
“We started in Iowa three years ago,” said lead singer Chris Martin, tongue in cheek. “We had a bus, a small bus, and at that point not very many investors, and we had barely enough money to afford one can of Pepsi. Pepsi stepped in, they gave us a bigger bus, we got some stickers: Coldplay for 2016. And then we just got out there and just worked our little butts off. And lo and behold, the voters of America said all right, you have a go.”
This was actually a fairly good analogy for how American politics works, if you substitute shadowy conservative billionaires for Pepsi, and ignore Trump, which is always good policy. Martin’s opening line while surveying the sea of journalists and the 43 TV cameras was, however, “Wow, I feel like Donald Trump. This is amazing.”
Martin breezed through the thing, saying the halftime show would be about “togetherness and acceptance and the things we really believe in,” and that “the game itself celebrates people’s dreams, doesn’t it?” When asked if they knew anything about football, the Coldplay Guy With The Hat, guitarist Jonny Buckland, said, “We’re firmly split down the middle between those of us who know absolutely nothing about football, and those of us who know almost absolutely nothing about football.” Martin added, “I think as long as LeBron James has a good game, things are going to be fine.”
There is an argument to be made that Coldplay is a safe choice, even a boring one, but they did their level best to entertain. Beyoncé will apparently be involved on Sunday, though she failed to show for this. Lady Gaga will sing the anthem. Martin was asked what would be Coldplay’s left shark moment — a reference to Perry’s cotton-candy-LSD show last year — and said, smiling, “You’re saying which part of our show will we f--- up terribly?”
There is a left shark in the Super Bowl store, in the Super Bowl Experience, next to Super Bowl Radio Row. You can pose for a picture with it.
Capitalism, and America, rolls on.