weird

The NFL is too uptight for a Weird Al halftime show

Weird Al Yankovic’s latest album, “Mandatory Fun,” continues to be a top-three seller on the Billboard 200. As a result, he’s experienced one hell of a rejuvenation in the media and among a whole new fan base.

Now, more than 50,000 fans have signed a petition urging the NFL to have Yankovic perform at the Super Bowl halftime show February in Arizona, which is pretty amazing considering that Weird Al is merely a comedian and parody artist.

From the Globe and Mail:

The Weird Al campaign was initiated on Change.org by Seattle resident and “lifelong football fan” Ed Ball, who admits to being inebriated when he penned the long and rambling (675 words!) preface to his petition.

Why Weird Al? Ball writes that he didn’t “want to sit through another Black Eyed Peas disaster or see Nicki Minaj verbal vomit some lyrics that I cannot understand.”

Added Ball: “And do you want Miley Cyrus?!? Because this is how you will end up with Miley Cyrus!!!”

Ball says that the idea came to him after hearing a drunken conversation between sports fans in a bar, one of whom was debating whether Justin Bieber or Iggy Azalea would be better for the halftime gig.

All of which prompted Ball to launch the petition, which he “drunkingly submitted.”

But don’t get your hopes up, Weird Al enthusiasts, because the No Fun League would never do it. He might be mainstream and the fans might clamor for him, but the NFL takes itself far too seriously to consider using a joke artist during its vaunted, historically significant halftime program.

And at the end of the day, regardless of how many signatures that petition gets, Roger Goodell and Co. get to decide who they want to put on stage that evening.

That’s a shame, though, because the halftime show has for years been mocked by hardcore football fans. We use it as an opportunity to eat dinner and do strange things like talk to family members. Many of us even bail for the Puppy Bowl.

By and large, these people don’t care about Beyonce, Madonna, the Black Eyed Peas or Bruno Mars. The Who and Bruce Springsteen were decent enough choices, but they only catered to an older fan base.

Weird Al would actually sort of cater to everybody, and I can promise you that he’d draw a whole different audience. If even a small segment of that audience sticks around for the start of the third quarter, you’ve accomplished something that simply wasn’t there with The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney or U2.

But the NFL wouldn’t swallow its pride and let that happen. Sorry.

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.

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