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The Who to Rock Super Bowl Halftime Show

  • Steve Schy

The Who's Pete Townshend (r) and Roger Daltrey (l) will provide the halftime entertainment for the upcoming Super Bowl.

The Who's Pete Townshend (r) and Roger Daltrey (l) will provide the halftime entertainment for the upcoming Super Bowl.

This year The Who becomes the latest in a series of rock luminaries to headline the entertainment at the Super Bowl half-time show. But the Who's Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, who played a three-song acoustic set at their press conference, are the first to admit they don't know much about American-style football.

The band, led by surviving members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, are following in the tradition of such British rock legends as the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney.

During the Super Bowl's half-time break in Miami, The Who is scheduled to perform a 15-song medley of some of its biggest hits. At a press conference to talk about the show, Daltrey and Townshend compared the length of their performance to the game itself.

"What I find incredible about American football is that we're going to playing for about 12 minutes in the half-time. But I've heard that some games, if you take the advertising out, there's 11½ minutes of [actual] play. I don't know how true that is, I hope I'm not going to be disappointed!"
"What do you mean, we're working for longer than the players?"
"Allegedly."

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers compared American-style football to a popular sport in Britain.

"We have rugby, which is like American football without the breaks and helmets and the padding. But it's a similar game, not the same but very similar."
"With less injuries, actually."
"Yeah, apparently they get less injuries than you guys with all the padding and the helmets. But then the British are a lot lighter."

The renowned British rockers were asked if they had selected a team they hoped would win the game.

"I'm a non-partisan here, all I care is that the best team wins and you get a good game - not one of those boring ones. But if I have to root for one, I'll just say I just think New Orleans could just do with a little bit of luck. And it would be nice for them."
"Well in that case, I'll go for the Colts."

The National Football League says it selects its half-time headliners from a wish list of the top rock acts who have expressed interest in performing at the Super Bowl. The NFL covers the group's expenses, but does not pay an actual fee. About 1,000 people work to prepare the field and stage for the half-time show. But in a change from recent years, there will be no on-field audience gathered around the stage.

The multi-talented Queen Latifah and American Idol alumni Carrie Underwood will also be a part of the Super Bowl entertainment. Latifah says she is proud to have been asked to perform. "When you sing America the Beautiful or the National Anthem you feel like you are representing America. So you just want to show up and you want to do a great job, because you also know that everyone in that crowd is passionate about our country," she said.

Prior to the opening kickoff, Queen Latifah will sing "America the Beautiful," and Carrie Underwood will perform the National Anthem.

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