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2011 Super Bowl Halftime Show: Black Eyed Peas Make Paul McCartney New Fans

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More: Super Bowl 2012 coverage.

The 2011 Super Bowl’s Halftime Show features none other than the Black Eyed Peas, which—I don’t know, I guess there’s someone out there who loves the Black Eyes Peas. For the most part they seem to have filled the need for a monocultural pop icon by default. I know (to paraphrase Pauline Kael) no Black Eyed Peas fans, but roller skating rinks and school dances and Casey Kasem and Super Bowl XLV all crave some band that is inoffensive to basically everybody, and the Black Eyed Peas have been drafted to fill that role.

And just in time for the NFL. Following the Janet Jackson debacle—and it’s been so long, now, that it seems strange to remember Janet Jackson the Unstoppable Pop Icon—pop got more aggressively niche-y, rock vanished, and the NFL set out to employ every popular rock-and-roll musician of the last 50 years as a stop-gap measure.

We should have known they were running out when they went with Tom Petty. But now they’re back to real pop music, which hasn’t offered them a lot of entertaining options. We can only hope Fergie finds some way to make them as nervous as Jackson did pre-Damita Jo.