One Fan’s Quest to Have a Very Grateful Super Bowl: Dead 50
Words by Doug Machado
Over the years, the NFL Super Bowl Halftime show has played host to some of music’s most popular and legendary performers. Since 1988, halftime has been graced by the likes of Chubby Checker, Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, U2, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty, The Who, just to name a few of the best. Honestly, this impressive list of top musical talent goes on and on.
Now heading into its 50th year, Super Bowl will be held on February 7th, 2016 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA. The halftime stage has always been a hot spot for the music industry, but it wasn’t until about a month back that I began to see a sprouting of petitions by various fans pitching their requests to the NFL for their favorite artists to be considered for the coveted spot. Many of the suggestions were of a predictable fare, while others seemed to hold more fresh potential than rehashing. However, one group of longtime musical artists with plenty of historical accomplishment under their belt that I was surprised to NOT see listed, especially given their well documented concert success earlier in the year, were the Grateful Dead.
As quickly as the idea came to me to begin a petition of my own requesting that the remaining “Core Four” members be asked to perform at this coming year’s event, it instantly began to make complete and perfect sense. On the surface, when you think of a band as enduring and iconic as the Grateful Dead, it seems like a no brainer. What is probably the biggest musical stage in sports entertainment, the Super Bowl halftime show seems like a match made in heaven for a talent as large and as vast as that of the Grateful Dead. But that alone isn’t what inspired me to begin this petition. It was something a little deeper.
For starters let’s look at the numbers. It’s no revelation that the NFL Super Bowl is about to celebrate its fiftieth year in the sports industry. That is an accomplishment in and of itself. Unless you have been hiding under a rock this past summer, it is equally no secret that the Grateful Dead themselves are in the midst of celebrating 50 years in the music industry; having just wrapped up a sold out series of “Fare Thee Well” concerts, and most recently announcing a fall tour that will continue the classic Dead sound with John Mayer at the helm, under the branding of Dead & Company.
But the connection doesn’t end there.
The Grateful Dead’s first performance AS the Grateful Dead took place in downtown San Jose, CA, on December 4th, 1965. Super Bowl 50 is being held in Santa Clara, CA; only 14 minutes away from the birthplace of this legendary ensemble. Much like the National Football League and accompanying Super Bowl, The Grateful Dead is a brand known worldwide, and their sound epitomizes the Bay Area’s unique affects on history and Americana culture. Between location and the celebration of 50 years, not to mention the well established success behind the band, every aspect of this pairing simply…makes…sense!
When presented with news of the petition, the Grateful Dead had this to say: “Two of America’s favorite pastimes combined? We’re in!” That alone, is enough to keep this DEADicated fan excited and optimistic at the possibility.
The petition is up and active, currently boasting 12,915 supporters. It has been picked up and discussed by various media outlets, including Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, and KCBS Radio in San Francisco, a division of CBS News. Those wishing to sign and support the petition to bring the remaining members of The Grateful Dead to Super Bowl 50 can
do so below!