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The 8th Annual (More Or Less) Beachwood Super Bowl Halftime Show Prop Bet: Coldplay Edition

Fuck it. I quit.

In the entire course of human history, not enough alcohol has been distilled to make me drunk enough to recap a Coldplay concert. You'll have to wait until someone else uploads the setlist to Wikipedia to learn who won this year's bet.

This is a bad pick, and not just because Coldplay sucks. It's a bad pick because Coldplay couldn't possibly be less relevant to this year's Super Bowl. They're neither influential enough nor classic enough to matter to anyone. They're the 40-ish divorced suburban dad of contemporary music, and honestly, that guy sucks. He's all weird scientific non-sequiturs and pee-stained sloppiness. Who wants to sit and listen to "Fix You" in the middle of a football game? And make no mistake, they are going to play "Fix You" because that is exactly what 40-ish divorced suburban dads do.

If it were 2006, I would understand this pick because back then Coldplay was the acceptably mainstream alternative band of the emerging consumer class. But what sexy demographic will be drawn by Coldplay in 2016? Millennials won't tune in for Coldplay because they don't listen to Coldplay. They maybe remember that one cool babysitter they had who mainlined "Don't Panic" after a bad breakup, but they've had bad breakups of their own now and the memory makes them uncomfortable. And nostalgic Gen-Xers won't tune in for Coldplay because Radiohead exists.

To gauge exactly how ill-suited this particular band is to this particular sporting event, ask yourself: Would Cam Newton dab to Coldplay? He would not, because he would look like he was having a stroke. This is a terrible choice made even worse by the NFL's apparent determination to turn this into some kind of 50th anniversary THING. That means Coldplay will reportedly share the stage with Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, authors of two of the more memorable halftime shows of the decade, which will only serve to make Coldplay look even more pathetic. I'd be embarrassed for them if I didn't strongly suspect they'll find a way to work Gwyneth Fucking Paltrow into the festivities just to highlight how absolutely out-of-touch they really are. At which point I will barf out my eyeballs.

Alright, let's get this over with. I haven't seen any Pepsi promos because Pepsi hates this band. I imagine if there were a promo it'd be that one song, you know, the annoying one that starts out all bum-bum-bum-ba-bum-bum-bum and then Chris Martin starts whining about how he used to rule the world. That one. The stage manager has stressed in interviews that Coldplay loves to be "really inclusive," which probably means a sing-along but could also mean anything or nothing. So based on this scant information, here are the questions you must answer if you want to play along at home:

1. What songs will Coldplay perform?

2. How many special guests will appear and who will they be?

3. What does "inclusive" mean in this context?

4. What color dirty-looking t-shirt will Chris Martin wear?

5. David Bowie tribute, yes or no?

6. What alternative programming will run at my house?

Here are my predictions -

1. Setlist:

* The annoying one from the non-existent promo.

* "Yellow," featuring Gwyneth Paltrow.

* That one with Beyoncé.

* I don't know . . . "Clocks?"

* Bruno Mars interlude.

* "Fix You."

2. As many guests from the past 50 years as they can cram in to drown out the main act, including Up with People, a reanimated Michael Jackson and Peyton Manning singing the Nationwide jingle.

3. It means a sing-along, probably to "Fix You," with little lights to guide everyone home.

4. Black that has faded to a washed-out green.

5. See Bruno Mars interlude above.

6. Possibly the dulcet tones of an emergency root canal.


Previously In Beachwood Super Bowl Halftime Coverage:
* The 2009 Beachwood Super Bowl Halftime Bracket: Bruce Springsteen Edition.

* The Who's 2010 Super Bowl Suckage.

* Let's Not Get It Started And Say We Did: The 2011 Beachwood Super Bowl Halftime Prop Bet.

* The 2012 Beachwood Super Bowl Halftime Bet: Madonna Edition.

* The 2013 Beachwood Super Bowl Halftime Bet: Beyoncé Knowles Edition.

* Tweeting The 2014 Super Bowl Suckage: Bruno Mars & Red Hot Chili Peppers Edition.

* The 2015 Beachwood Super Bowl Halftime Prop Bet: Katy Perry Edition.


Comments welcome.


The results are in!

I think we can agree that we all lost.

Bruno Mars lost because he had to sing Mark Ronson's song while wearing a garbage bag. Mark Ronson lost because they sidelined him at a DJ table. Beyoncé lost because she ripped off Katy Perry's entrance but forgot the best part - the giant Circle of Life-style lion to ride in on. Coldplay almost won by clearly being in on the joke, but then they lost because they are still Coldplay. Missy Elliott snuck in at the commercial break and won because three bars of Pep Rally is better than anything Coldplay has ever recorded.

This turned out to be a very by-the-numbers playlist, which means we had a lot of correct guesses. The official answers, with help from the Wikipedians, were:


Yellow (Coldplay)
"Viva la Vida" (Coldplay)
"A Sky Full of Stars (Coldplay)
"Adventure of a Lifetime" (Coldplay)
"Paradise (Coldplay)
"Uptown Funk" (Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars)
"Formation" (Beyoncé)
"Clocks/Fix You (Coldplay)
"Up&Up (Coldplay, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars)

2. Bruno, Beyoncé and possibly Mark Ronson off in the corner. Backup dancers don't count as neither Bruno nor Beyoncé goes anywhere without them.

3. Screaming fans surrounding the stage. Also, an attempt at some sort of upper-deck placard art that didn't really come off because everyone had gone to the shitter.

4. White with brightly colored flower appliques and a grey jacket.

5. No Bowie tribute, unless you count the fact that the whole thing looked like a bad acid trip.

6. My daughter, who provided a spectacular array of alternative lyrics more heart-felt and rump-shaking than anything yelped on the stage. Topics covered included how disgusting Chris Martin is (unprompted, I swear); how Beyoncé makes her want to dance; a long riff during the clip show on how she misses all the other bands, even the ones she's never heard (again, totally unprompted); and one set to the tune of "Viva la Vida" the sole lyrics of which were "Pepsi, Pepsi, fart, fart."

In the end, the NFL got exactly the Super Bowl it deserved and the halftime show was the perfect reflection of that: a big, loud, largely unwatchable mess featuring an aggressively sweaty, shrieking, middle-aged white guy being upstaged by everything including the turf. A shambolic disaster in which everyone simultaneously appeared half-assed and try-hard. A winking, choreographed in-joke where everyone pretended to know the rules even though the rules were and will always be unknowable. A Pepsi Pepsi fart fart.

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