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User's Guide to Super Bowl Halftime: 11 things you should know

MJD
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1. You'll want to plan ahead for your pizza delivery. Super Bowl Sunday is the busiest day of the year for pizza joints, and every place quoted here says you should call at least one hour, and possibly two hours, in advance if you want your pizza delivered at halftime. Also, tip your drivers well. They're working hard, they don't get to watch the game, and a lot of them are out there on unsafe roads.

2. It's perfectly safe for you to flush your toilet. Some wise guy at your Super Bowl party may tell you that the rush of people flushing their toilets at halftime can cause a sanitation disaster, but it's absolutely not true. It's an urban legend that's existed for a while now, but pay it no mind. You can flush with a clear conscience.

3. The Who is actually doing this for free. Somehow, the highly-commercialized worlds of rock 'n roll and the Super Bowl are coming together, and someone has ended up doing something for free. The NFL covers all expenses for The Who, but they will receive no actual fee for playing. They don't even have a new album to promote, either. Strange.

4. That rocking 12-minute medley The Who belts out? You can play it yourself. Immediately after the game, you'll be able to download the medley The Who plays on your Rock Band video game. It'll cost about $2 for owners of the Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii. Playstation 3 owners will have to wait a bit longer, though.

5. It takes a village to assemble a stage. The people charged with setting up and tearing down The Who's stage have only six minutes for each task -- that's probably why they need 600 people to pull it off. The stage weighs 10 tons and is broken down into 25 parts.

6. The Lingerie Bowl is giving it another go. The Lingerie Bowl, a tackle football game involving women in lingerie and shoulder pads, is back for another try in 2010. This year, it's available via pay-per-view, and you'll have to break out your computer and head to lflus.com to access it. $9.99 seems like a high price to pay to get a group of men standing around a computer looking at pixelated women.

7. There are more wholesome halftime activities available, though. The Puppy Bowl also returns for a sixth go-round on Animal Planet. If you've never seen it, I could tell you that it features a group of puppies running around in a football-themed pen, but that doesn't come anywhere near capturing the insane levels of cuteness that will be achieved. If you don't smile when watching the Puppy Bowl, you may need medical attention. Or your team might be down 30 at halftime.

8. Some recent halftime acts are very close to qualifying for the senior citizen discount at Denny's. Since the infamous Janet Jackson controversy, Super Bowl halftime shows have been played exclusively by (to be generous) middle-aged men. The youngest has been Prince who played Super Bowl XLI at the age of 49. Some recent performers, like Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and Pete Townshend, have been well into their 60s.

9. Super Bowl XLIV's act borrowed a bit from Super Bowl XL's act. Pete Townshend developed his slashing “windmill” style after seeing Keith Richards swing his arm as he was playing on stage in 1963. Townshend later asked Richards about the gesture, and Richards had no recollection of ever doing it.

10. We didn't used to take the celebrity route. The first three Super Bowl halftime shows went a very traditional, very amateur route: They booked college marching bands. At Super Bowl I, high schoolers even got in on the act, with the Anaheim High School drill team performing. The first celebrity involvement came at Super Bowl IV when Carol Channing got involved.

11. Care to speculate about next year's halftime show? It seems like The Eagles are an early favorite to play next year's halftime gig, and that would certainly fit in with recent trends. I have a hunch, though, that next year is the year that the NFL throws caution to the wind and dares to go a little bit younger and/or hipper.

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