At 3:20 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday afternoon, I was preparing for the ultimate showdown between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, anxious for the game to begin.
My mom brought out her famous seven layer dip, and I began chomping it down as the action started.
Besides the game itself, I was looking forward to the entertaining commercials the Super Bowl always brings, and more importantly, the halftime show.
Coldplay, Bruno Mars and Beyoncé were all scheduled to perform, and I was eager to see the spectacular production that the Super Bowl always creates.
As the game went on, my excitement for the halftime show actually grew, since the first half was surprisingly boring, with the Broncos leading at halftime by 10-0.
At that point, the score wasn’t my concern. I just cared about seeing the halftime show and how good it was going to be.
Coldplay was great and started the show off right. All I can remember from their lead singer was how much he continually jumped up and down … and the flowers – there were lots of flowers.
Once Bruno hit the stage, things got real.
“Uptown Funk” is one of my favorite songs, and this performance, especially the dancing, did not disappoint. I was up off my couch dancing right with him.
My sister, recruited to work as a Super Bowl greeter, was able to see it live and told me this was really the best part of the whole show. I’d have to agree.
But right when I thought things couldn’t get crazier, Beyoncé and her band of backup dancers entered.
Although Bruno was my favorite, Beyoncé was right up there with him. She brought loads of energy, seemingly stealing the show from Coldplay.
By this time, the seven layer dip brought out two and a half hours ago was gone, the halftime show was over and the second half of Super Bowl 50 was underway.
I was expecting the Panthers to come back strong and hungry for some points, but they really didn’t, and the rest of the game was a snooze. At least the halftime show would go down in the records as a lot of innocent fun … or so I thought.
It wasn’t until a couple of days later that I became aware of the controversy over Beyoncé’s performance, and, to be honest, I was astonished.
Beyoncé wasn’t just performing to entertain; she was out there to promote a strong political message – one which, I have to admit, I was completely oblivious to as I watched the show.
Apparently, the black berets and leather jackets worn by the backup dancers paid homage to the militant Black Panther movement, and the “X” formation was a tribute to black separatist Malcolm X.
Beyoncé, in her performance and song lyrics, was addressing racism in America and showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Now, I am not arguing for or against any of these ideas or labeling them as right or wrong. However, I do think there is a time and place for them to be expressed, and the Super Bowl 50 halftime show was not it.
With over 114 million viewers, Beyoncé saw this as the right moment to promote her political message and she knew that she certainly had the stage to do so.
But, I really don’t think the Super Bowl should be a platform for any political message of any type – no matter what it is or who it is from. Rather, I think it’s a time for good ‘ole entertainment – singing and dancing that I can look back on in 40 years and remember for its sheer enjoyment and exuberance.
Instead, I will now look back and remember the Super Bowl 50 halftime show for a calculated political statement, rather than for the all around entertainment that it was meant to be and for the fun of dancing with Bruno’s funk.