Ten things to know about Super Bowl XLVI halftime

Shutdown Corner

10. The NFL is ready to accept women again. Madonna is the first female invited to headline the Super Bowl halftime show since Janet Jackson did what she did back in 2004 (technically, last year's act, the Black Eyes Peas were 25% female, but I think we'd all like to just forget that happened). Madonna has guaranteed that there will be no wardrobe malfunctions, which is just as well, because if there's any part of Madonna you'd like to see, she likely exposed it publicly long ago.

9. Madonna is doing this for free (kind of). Curious about how much the NFL is paying Madonna for her services on Sunday? Nada. Madonna's doing this one for free. What she does get out of the deal is nearly immeasurable exposure. More than 110 million people are going to watch this, and she has 12 minutes to do whatever she wants. For comparison's sake, last week, 19.6 million people watched American Idol. As far as I know, American Idol doesn't just give away 12-minute segments to anyone who wants them. Perhaps not coincidentally …

8. Madonna has an album coming out in March. MDNA, Madonna's 12th studio album, will be available for purchase on March 26th. One single from the album, "Give Me All Your Luvin'" has been released, and you'll likely hear a portion of it performed on Sunday. You can see the football-themed video, featuring Nicki Minaj, right here.

7. It's not just Madonna, you know. Other musical acts will include the afore-mentioned Nicki Minaj, Cee-Lo Green, LMFAO, and M.I.A. If Roger Goodell likes them, perhaps they can get their own halftime show when they're 60. Several high school drumlines will also be involved, as will Cirque du Soleil. I don't know how anything will sound, but if the Cirque people are involved, it's at least going to be visually stunning.

[Video: Video: What to watch for in Super Bowl XLVI]

6. Madonna was not a particularly youthful selection. For her age, she looks amazing, but Madonna is still old enough to be the mother of the oldest player in Super Bowl XLVI. That would be Kevin Faulk, Patriots running back, who is 35. Madonna is 18 years older than Kevin Faulk.  When Madonna had her first number one hit, "Like A Virgin", Tom Brady was seven years old. Rob Gronkowski was still five years away from being born. Cris Collinsworth, who will be calling the game for NBC, was a fourth-year wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals.

5. If you tag the halftime show with your Shazam app, you get access to other nonsense. Shazam is all over the Super Bowl. If you've got a smartphone and the Shazam app, you can "tag" the halftime performance and get access to "exclusive content" by the artists performing during halftime. Various other advertisements will be Shazam-enabled, too, allowing you to enter contests and get wonderful offers. This is also the perfect way to announce to other guests, "I have a fancy smartphone and I care nothing about football."

4. Halftime gets stretched considerably. A normal regular-season halftime breezes by at just 12 minutes in length. The Super Bowl is more than double that at 31 minutes. Twelve of those will be occupied by Madonna, while the other 19 are for setting up and tearing down the stage. The Patriots have prepared themselves for the extended halftime by taking a 31-minute break in practice.

3. Tony Dungy would really rather you watched something else. The former Colts head coach and current NBC analyst has taped a three-minute video about adoption, and encourages you to download and watch it at halftime. You can find it here at AdoptionJourney.org, and I don't see any reason you couldn't watch it right now, or any other time you pleased. Or completely ignore it. Which is what I find myself often doing to Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison when they're on NBC.

2. Flushing the toilet at halftime is perfectly fine. There's an urban legend that our nation's sewer system is put on the brink of collapse during halftime of the Super Bowl, since so many people will be flushing at the same time. It's not. Who better to debunk this myth than the fine people at Roto-Rooter? They say it's fine ‒ municipal sewer systems are built to handle anything you can throw at them. Flush freely.

1. The "Girls Gone Wild" guy does not want you to hear "Girls Gone Wild." A bizarre legal battle is unfolding between two people who have both done their best to convince young women that it's cool to take their clothes off. One of the tracks on Madonna's new album is titled "Girls Gone Wild," and Joe Francis, the proprietor of the popular DVD series of the same name, has threatened to sue Madonna if she plays the song at halftime. TMZ, the only possible moderator between these two parties, says the song is not a part of Madonna's set list.

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