Super Bowl Sunday is of course famous for the battle between two teams trying to win the National Football League championship. Over the years, the entertainment during halftime has grown to be an extravaganza of its own. For Super Bowl XLIII, American Rock & Roll icon Bruce Springsteen will play for an estimated viewing audience of 100 million in the United States alone, and millions more worldwide.
Recent Super Bowl halftime shows have featured performances by some of the greatest popular musicians, including the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Prince and Tom Petty. But for years, fans of Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band have been wondering when "The Boss" would finally play the big show.
Springsteen says the wait is over for a simple reason.
"Just by sticking around long enough," he said. "I mean if you do not die, people get a chance to see you. (laughter) It is like we have just been around and around and around and around."
Springsteen and the E Street Band have been around since the early 1970s, with numerous number one singles and albums in a long and impressive catalog of music. Most of Springsteen's concerts last as long as three hours. But he has a plan for the very short time allowed to play at the Super Bowl.
"The idea of the show is you are going to the Meadowlands [in New Jersey] or one of the regular shows that we play," he said. "And you get lost along the way. And so you make it into the stadium at two hours and 48 minutes into the show. That is what you are going to see. (laughter) The last 12 minutes."
Those 12 minutes became a source of controversy in 2004 when a so-called wardrobe malfunction led to Janet Jackson's exposed breast onstage. Since then, the NFL has tried to dictate what songs will be played and how the performance will be choreographed.
Regarding Springsteen's upcoming show:
"As far as who decides the songs, well, I am The Boss! The Boss decides, The Boss decides what we play! (laughter) Nobody else decides," he said.
That independent spirit is what Springsteen fans have loved for many years.