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Halftime show delivers music, fireworks… and a Beatle?

“So let it out and let it in, hey Jude, begin/You’re waiting for someone to perform with/And don’t you know that it’s just you, hey Jude, you’ll do/The movement you need is on your shoulder.”

“Hey Jude” is truly a classic Beatles song from the ’60s, one to listen to with your family, friends and … at the Super Bowl?

Yes, that’s right, Super Bowl XXXIX featured the winning New England Patriots, interesting (if not somewhat boring) commercials and the halftime show featuring Paul McCartney and, well, nobody else.

Through about four songs, McCartney played his bass, did a little jig and sang for the crowd with the most risqu? moment coming when he took off his jacket to reveal a long-sleeved red shirt underneath. Shocking.

And while McCartney sang that Jude is “waiting for someone to perform with,” the audience sat with their eyes glued to the television sets, waiting for the surprise guest that would pop up from behind the stage. And we waited and waited to no avail.

For those who are huge Beatles fans, this is not to say McCartney wasn’t fabulous in what he did, because he is a legend no matter what. Unfortunately, after last year’s Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction, it is obvious networks are not ready to risk another such incident.

But the question is, was Paul McCartney really the way to go to entertain millions of professional football fans?

“Even though I like McCartney, I think it’s a shame they had to create a halftime Superbowl so conservative as to not come close to offending anyone,” Brian Gross, freshman finance major, said. “Last year’s was bad, but it should not have pressured FOX to exclude anyone under the age of 45.”

McCartney played his set on an X-shaped stage, with himself in the center and different arms extending from the middle platform. On these extensions flashed different pictures and images, which added to the usual decoration and flashiness of the Superbowl halftime show.

In addition, the performance ended with fireworks and uproar from the thousands of fans crowding around the stage in the middle of the field.

But what most added to the strangeness of the show occurred during the performance of “Hey Jude.” As McCartney sang the words, “Na na na,” cameras panned over the audience to one side of the stadium where fans were holding up signs to spell out “Na na na” in the stands. Of all the words they could have spelled out during the Superbowl, “Na na na” was definitely not on my list.

According to a report on, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received two complaints about the halftime show from viewers. Apparently, both complaints labeled the show as “boring.”

After last year’s debacle, the FCC cracked down on the scandalous nature of television and what executives are allowed to show on the air. A ruling was already in place that between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., television shows are not allowed to show “sexual or excretory organs or activities,” as quoted in an article in USA Today last year.

Following last year’s halftime show, the FCC cracked down on indecency and created legislation to fine networks and companies up to $500,000 for such incidents as well as increasing self-censorship by broadcasters on TV and radio, as also cited in the article.

“In general, I just think (McCartney) appealed to more people,” Danielle Dowgin, sophomore elementary education and sociology major, said. “Last year, it was geared toward a specific group I think and a lot of people didn’t like it, whereas so many people like him and his music.”

Although McCartney performed well and appealed to many different age groups, it still remains a mystery whether he was the correct choice to entertain at the biggest football game of the year. With his dignified manner and songs that first found popularity in the 1960s, McCartney took his performance appeal to new heights by participating in the Superbowl, singing amid crowds of all ages and possibly bringing the tamest halftime show to the networks in years.


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