Halftime Hazard

This year's lack-luster halftime show leaves the Triton Voice asking: should the Super Bowl keep the halftime show?



Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine is no stranger to concert audiences. Here, he sings during this past NFL Super Bowl game.

After this years controversy with Adam Levine, should the NFL do away with the Super Bowl halftime show?

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It is difficult to Google the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show without seeing the word ‘controversy’ in the title. While one of the most anticipated shows of the year has come a long way from its college marching band beginnings in 1967, this year’s spectacle has raised eyebrows and questions. With all the attention surrounding this halftime show ending in yet another lackluster performance, the question remains: should the NFL continue with Super Bowl halftime shows?

The Triton Voice investigated this question through research, student’s opinions, and surveys. We looked into this year’s controversy and past halftimes along with questioning students and teachers at Triton about what they thought of this year’s halftime show.

Before it was even announced that Maroon 5 would headline the halftime show, artists such as Cardi B and Rihanna had decided to stand in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick against police brutality. Kaepernick has been left unsigned since he began kneeling in protest during the 2016 NFL season. Many thought that Maroon 5 should do the same, with over 100,000 fans signing a petition for the band to drop out. The band went on to play at the halftime, only to face more criticism – this time for their less-than-spectacular performance.

It was mediocre – is that fair to say?”

— Melissa Galante

“It was mediocre – is that fair to say?” stated Marissa Galante, one of the math teachers here at Triton. “It wasn’t super great, but it wasn’t terrible until Adam Levine took his shirt off.”

“I didn’t have any strong feelings one way or the other,” explained senior Ethan Tougas. “I didn’t think it was bad by any means, but I also don’t think it was anything incredible.”

Some have accused the band of giving a stale halftime performance, even with the addition of rapper Travis Scott and Atlanta-based rapper Big Boi. Of course, Levine is not the only artist, especially recently, to receive underwhelming reviews of his halftime show. Just over a year ago, Greg Kot from The Chicago Tribune wrote in the article “Justin Timberlake fades in ho-hum Super Bowl halftime show,” that Timberlake’s show had “No Prince hologram, no NSYNC reunion, and no wardrobe malfunctions” and was basically a “12-minute, nationally televised commercial for his latest album.”

Pop singers like Levine and Timberlake have graced the halftime stage only since 1989, the year that saw a show which included 2,000 dancers and “an attempt to broadcast it in 3D,” in an effort to “appeal to non-football fans,” according to Michelle R. Martinelli’s article “Marching bands to Maroon 5: A brief history of the Super Bowl halftime show,” from USA Today Sports. In all the halftime shows before then, starting in 1967, Martinelli notes that college marching bands were the performer of choice, especially the band mashup of Grambling State and University of Arizona, who played in Super Bowl I. The Grambling band’s “six Super Bowl halftime performances remain the most of any band, according to nola.com.”

Drew Nantais, author of the article “Super Bowl halftime show history: List of best, worst performers of all time,” lists Prince in 2007, Michael Jackson in 1993, and Beyonce in 2013 as the three top halftime performances of all time. At the bottom of the pile, Nantais ranks Coldplay in 2016, The Black Eyed Peas in 2011, and “Be Bop Bamboozled” in 1989 as the worst three halftime shows. With two out of the three worst halftimes being within the past decade, and following this year’s show, it appears that halftime shows have rarely been spectacular, with only one of the the top three performers, Beyonce, being within the last decade, leaving some wondering whether halftime shows have a place in the Super Bowl.

Though recent performances have left many wanting more, Senior Jeremy Duford still said he felt that halftime shows shouldn’t go away, but officials should only choose artists that fit the occasion.

“I think [halftime shows are] sick, but I just feel like these weren’t the right musicians for it,” explained Duford. “ Like Travis Scott and Adam Levine at, like, an intense Super Bowl? No, I don’t think it was the best idea.”

Duford was not alone in wanting a different type of act. Both junior Adrianna Deeb and senior Quentin Callewaert had similar things to say about how the choice of performers affects the quality of the halftime show.

“I think they should keep [the halftime show],” Deeb stated,” but they should have better acts.”

“I think it’s not a question of whether or not they should keep [halftime shows], it’s just a question of which acts they should book,” said Callewaert. “Obviously, some acts are more suited to an event like that and others aren’t.”

When asked whether or not she enjoyed this year’s show, Senior Olivia Valley revealed that it was “a hesitant yes,” but clarified that the halftime show “definitely adds to [the Super Bowl].”

These student’s opinions are very similar to a poll conducted by the Triton Voice. Six students responded to the question “After this year’s controversy with Adam Levine, should the NFL do away with the halftime show?” Over half, four out of six, responded “no” while answers “yes” and “it doesn’t matter” each received one vote.

“I think people are mostly mad because “Sweet Victory” wasn’t played and they’re taking it out on Maroon 5,” explained Tougas. “Just because there’s one sour apple – that wasn’t even that sour at that – it’s mostly just convoluted into this negative thing that I think is based around the whole Spongebob thing.”

The 2019 Super Bowl halftime show may have been shrouded in controversy and disappointment, but it it seems that a majority of those who responded at Triton want it to stay.


Works Cited

Berg, Madeleine. “Super Bowl Halftime Show 2018: Twitter Reacts To Justin Timberlake,” Forbes, Forbes Media LLC, 4 February 2018,



Dellatto, Marissa. “SpongeBob got a bigger streaming bump than Adam Levine after Super Bowl 2019,” The New York Post, NYP Holdings, 7 February 2019,



Kot, Greg. “Justin Timberlake fades in ho-hum Super Bowl halftime show,” Chicago Tribune, Chicago Tribune, 4 February 2018,



Martinelli, Michelle R. “Marching bands to Maroon 5: A brief history of the Super Bowl halftime show,” USA Today Sports, USA Today Sports, 31 January 2019,



McDermott, Maeve. “Adam Levine: Maroon 5 would ‘like to move on’ from Super Bowl controversy,” USA Today, USA Today, 1 February 2019,



McDermott, Maeve. “Review: Maroon 5 delivers a flavorless halftime show, avoids being the worst ever,” USA Today, USA Today, 4 February 2019,



Michallon, Clémence. “Super Bowl 2019: Maroon 5 sales jump by 488% following halftime show performance,” Independent, Independent, 6 February 2019,



Mosley, Christopher. “Maroon 5’s boring Super Bowl 2019 halftime show reflects the band’s long, bland career arc,” Think, NBC Universal, 3 February 2019,


Nantais, Drew. “Super Bowl halftime show history: List of best, worst performers of all time,” Sporting News, Sporting News Media, 6 February 2019,



Nantais, Drew. “Why is Maroon 5 performing at Super Bowl 53? Explaining the 2019 halftime show controversy,” Sporting News, Sporting News Media, 3 February 2019,



Rolli, Bryan. “Maroon 5 Gave An Incredibly Boring Halftime Show Performance For An Incredibly Boring Super Bowl,” Forbes, Forbes Media LLC, 3 February 2019,



Stites, Adam. “Maroon 5, an extremely Super Bowl halftime band, will perform Super Bowl 53 halftime show in Atlanta,” SBNation, Vox Media, 19 September 2019,