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Houston, We Have A Problem... 

Super Bowl entertainment usually isn't; halftime shows we'd like to see

Now referred to as something of a secular American holiday, the Super Bowl and its attendant pageantry -- the pre-game show, the national anthem, the halftime show, and those darned commercials -- have become something of a parody of themselves (and the society that can dream up such spectacles).

This year, we'll get Willie Nelson, Josh Groban and Toby Keith doing the pre-game show, Beyonce singing the national anthem, and Janet Jackson, P. Diddy, Kid Rock and Nelly performing some ungodly abomination at halftime. (Note to Willie: being high all the time only excuses so much.)

With this in mind, we here at Creative Loafing decided, Emeril Lagasse-style, to kick it up a notch. Keeping with the grand Super Bowl tradition of mixing pop and pigskin, the following are a few halftime shows we'd like to see:

The Super Bowl for Souls: Creed, not satisfied with clogging the FM radio dial with their (holy) watered-down "alternative" rock, challenge Satan to a battle of the bands. Marilyn Manson, reached at his Hollywood bungalow, sheepishly admits that he has broken ranks with Satan, and is now practicing Scientology. Thrash rockers Slayer eagerly sign on in Manson's stead. The head-bangers go on first, surrounded by cannons that shoot geysers of fake blood into the crowd. Lead singer Tom Araya howls: "High priest awaiting dagger in hand/Spilling the pure virgin blood/Satan's slaughter, ceremonial death/Answer his every command!" Scott Stapp comes down from the cross, looks skyward, and testifies: "I see your soul, it's kind of gray/I see your heart, you look away/You see my wrist, I know your pain/I know your purpose on your plane..." Both bands keep jacking up the volume until it reaches ear-bleeding level. Soon, all that is heard is a large bang, and Houston's Reliant Stadium becomes nothing more than a large, smoking crater. The clouds open up, and a voice that sounds suspiciously like Charlie Daniels sings: "I done told you once, you sonuvabitch, I'm the best there's ever been." --TD

The Flaming Lips Halftime X-Travaganza: Hours before game-time the water and alcohol supplies are spiked with MDMA. By the half, fans and players from both sides are rollin' hard enough that when Lips' leader Wayne Coyne insists everyone dress up as footballs and rabbits, it all sounds perfectly sensible -- just like any other bad idea does when you're feeling ecstatic. Midway through the Lips' 45-minute version of "God's a Wheeler Dealer," blotter-acid confetti floats down from the mysterious, non-affiliated blimp overhead. Coyne exhorts all to partake in the "fruit-flavored candy," resulting in an extremely groovy second half during which both teams are repeatedly penalized for Delay of Game when they refuse to break huddle because they "no longer see the point." The game ends in a tie, which just seems the karmic thing to do. --JS

The Mother of all Turf Wars Bowl: Rather than allow their festering East Coast/West Coast rap war to fester, rival rappers get out all their petty, homoerotic gun fantasies on the world's biggest stage. West Coasters like Dre and Mack 10 and Ice Cube enter from the (duh) west end zone. Mobb Deep, Beanie Sigel and Nas enter from the east. They begin ciphering, daring each other with tricky cadences and profane dick jokes. Soon, giant holographic images of Biggie Smalls and Tupac appear in each end zone, and begin "playing the dozens." "You're so fat, your blood type is Ragu," says "Pac. "You so skinny, birds call each other "Tupac-chested!" retorts Biggie. Soon, the blood begins to boil, and gats and 9 millimeters light up the Houston sky. Fans hold up facsimile spinning "Sprewell" rims as makeshift shields. Finally, a large Cadillac Escalade pulls up to the stage, out of which jump the members of Houston's finest rap act, The Geto Boys. Midget/rapper Bushwick Bill takes the mic, and informs the audience that the whole thing never actually happened, and furthermore notes -- in a nod to the Getos' biggest hit -- that their mind is probably just playing tricks on them. --TD

The Sad Bastard Music Bowl -- Halftimes are often local theme-based affairs, and since we're in Texas, what better way than a day-long drink-a-thon to celebrate the legacy of Townes Van Zandt and all the other three-monikered singer-songwriter types who drank/are drinking themselves to death? Hell, by halftime of the Super Bowl most Americans are loaded anyway, so when the "faux" Texas juke joint is wheeled out onto the field no one bats an eye. A group of "pretend" drinkers then sidle up to the bar and get "make-believe" shots of Wild Turkey, while a long line of depressed alcoholics from dysfunctional families regale everyone with carbon-copy tales of broken hearts and lonely nights spent in Backwater, USA. Texas troopers arrive in exploding Ford Crown Victorias to break up "simulated" domestic disputes and "phony" bar brawls, while television evangelists lecture on the evils of the "demon juice." Mandatory bourbon shots for everybody over the age of 12. --JS

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