We gather around our 15-layer dips, buckets of atomic wings, scoopable chips and adult beverages every year for the Big Game ... but let's face it, said game is usually kind of lame, and it's the commercials and halftime show we really tune in for.
While this year's contest between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks has all the makings of a classic, we've got our eye firmly on Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who will team up to entertain us at halftime of Super Bowl XLVIII. Because, well, WTF not?
And by WTF we mean "What The Football?" As in, "What was the NFL thinking when they put together some of the wackiest, weirdest, most head-scratching halftime shows ever?" Searching for answers, we put together this list ... though, really, we're still just as lost as ever.
Magic, Music, Card Tricks... All In 3D!
Before 3D became great excuse for studios to upcharge you for crap like "R.I.P.D.," it was a gimmick used in the 1989 game as part of a tribute to the music of the 1950s called "Be Bop Bamboozle" that featured magician Elvis Presto doing a giant, goofy card trick using the whole stadium as his marks. Turns out everyone watching at home was a sucker, too.
More Magic, Only This Time In The Winter
Wow. This one was ... special. Giant dancing snowflakes, Gloria Estefan, Olympic skater Dorothy Hamill, "Walking In a Winter Wonderland" a month after Christmas, a Rockettes-like kick and sugar plum fairies bouncing on mini-trampolines. This one seems to have been thought up with the help of a different kind of powdery white substance.
NKOTB Honor ... The Troops?
Disney had the halftime show on lock for much of the '90 and the apple-cheeked show from 1991 was proof. The mannequins from "It's a Small World" come to life, NKOTB lip syncs "Step-By-Step" (honoring our troops thanks to your favorite soda) and 50-foot tall Mickey Mouse inflatables tower over the proceedings, silently judging whomever thought this was a good idea.
Michael Jackson Goes Big
The late King of Pop never half-stepped anything, which is why his Super Bowl XXVII show was as over the top as you would expect ... and we're not even talking about his entrance, where he had stunt doubles dance atop the scoreboards. From his 3,000 backup dancers to an uncomfortably long span of time during the open where he just stood frozen like a mannequin and the medley of massive hits ("Billie Jean," "Black or White" and "Heal The World,") Jackson put on a spectacle for the ages.
Indiana Jones And The Temple Of WTF
Product placement has always been a big part of the show, but it's never reached this apex before or since. The Indy-themed extravaganza, with more stereotypes than you can shake a feathered headdress at, was headlined by Patti Labelle, with help from singer Teddy Pendergrass and crooner Tony Bennett. And, of course, Indy, who recreated iconic scenes from the movie franchise like, you know, the time he recaptured the Vince Lombardi trophy from those wicked sorcerers.
Ladies And Gentlemen: Xtina ... And Edward James Olmos
This Disney-fied tribute to the human orchestra starred, of course, Phil Collins, a pre-"Dirrty" Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Tina Turner, Toni Braxton and actor Edward James Olmos. The giant creepy puppets were one thing, but Olmos' narration about the indomitable human spirit and the "tapestry of magic" and the "the great millennium walk" (whatever that was) just iced it.
And who can forget that awesome time Bruce Springsteen celebrated his indomitable spirit by sliding across the stage and spiking his man parts on camera 3?
Black Eyed Peas' Technicolor Fumble
Too much is never enough for will.i.am and this BEP cohorts. So for their "TRON: Legacy"-themed show in 2011 they brought it all: plastic hair, light-up shoulder pads, Slash, Usher, hundreds of extras in neon-piped costumes and, of course, corporate branding (check out their stage, which just so happened to be in the shape of the Beats logo). I gotta feeling people are not going to put this one in their top 10.
Madonna For The Win
Now this is a halftime show: Roman soldiers, Cirque du Soleil dancers, marching bands, Nicki Minaj, cheerleaders, Cee Lo Green, LMFAO, "Vogue" and, oh yeah, M.I.A. flipping off the camera. Even without that single-digit salute, there is a zero percent chance the NFL ever attempts something like this again.