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The Beachwood Super Bowl Halftime Bracket

OK, everyone. It's time for the only Super Bowl wager that really matters: the half time entertainment bracket. It's not actually a bracket, but that sounds more sports gambling-y so I'm going with it.

You don't have to know a thing about football to participate. You do, however, have to know a little about the kind of vaguely wholesome, arena-packing, fully-clothed, non-nipple-baring musicals acts that are invited to play during the part of the Big Game most of us use to go to the bathroom. The rules are simple: choose three songs that will be played by the Super Bowl half time entertainment. Why three songs? Because that seems to be the standard number, other than last year when Tom Petty played his entire back catalog. For the record, Smitty remains the only person ever to go three-for-three, correctly predicting Prince would perform "Let's Go Crazy," "Baby, I'm a Star" and "Purple Rain."

This year's featured artist is Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. There's a massive pool of songs from which to choose. Will the Boss go with a few classics or mix in some of his newer material? Will we get anthemic Springsteen, contemplative Springsteen, or some kind of post-Obama celebration of hope?

To spice things up a little this year, you must give your picks in the order in which you think they will be played. As a tie-breaker, predict what Springsteen will be wearing and how many guitars he will use throughout the performance. Get your choices in to me before the Big Game starts to be included.

Winning this bracket doesn't get you much of anything, really. Just bragging rights, and possibly a Beachwood door prize. The Beachwood Media Company reserves the right to reject any entry obviously derived from disallowable research or inappropriate contact with the band or any of its associates. Send entries here and they will be posted. Don't forget the tiebreaker!


ENTRY 1. Natasha Julius

1. The Rising
2. Hungry Heart
3. Born in the USA

Bruce will be clad in the classic Born in the USA-era uniform of faded jeans, white T-shirt and red bandanna. He will use two guitars, one electric and one acoustic.


ENTRY 2. Marilyn Ferdinand

1. Born to Run
2. The Wrestler
3. My Lucky Day

Blue jeans, white t-shirt (maybe with Obama image), black denim vest. Two guitars - one electric, one acoustic.


ENTRY 3. Jeff Ruby

1. Dancing in the Dark
2. The Wrestler
3. Born to Run

He will dressed all in black, with a shirt unbuttoned one button too many so you can see some kind of necklace and chest hair. Two guitars - one electric, one acoustic.


ENTRY 4. Eric Cup

1. Dancing in the Dark
2. Born to Run
3. Rosalita

White t-shirt, black boots. One guitar.


ENTRY 5. Matt Gamewell

1. Thunder Road
2. My Lucky Day
3. Born to Run/Born in the USA medley

Jeans, black shirt, black boots. Alas, no Blago wig. Two guitars.


TIEBREAKERS, PEOPLE! What he'll be wearing, how many guitars.


ENTRY 6. Scott Buckner

1. Born to Run
2. Glory Days
3. Born in the USA

Unbuttoned button-up shirt with the short sleeves rolled up way too high and tight, jeans, and boots. He'll go with one guitar, an electric.


ENTRY 7. Steve Rhodes

1. The Rising
2. The Wrestler into that 50s medley he used to do including Devil With The Blue Dress On
3. Born to Run

White shirt, rolled up sleeves under black vest; necklaces a la what Ruby said. Cowboy hat. One guitar: the Telecaster.


ENTRY 8. Jeanette Pesnikov

1. Working on a Dream
2. My Lucky Day
3. Born to Run

Black shirt with the sleeves rolled up, unbuttoned halfway down his chest and faded blue jeans. Two guitars - acoustic and electric


ENTRY 9. Mike Knezovich

1. Cover Me
2. The Rising
3. Born to Run

Black jeans, black denim jacket. Two guitars.


ENTRY 10. Eric Emery

1. Pittsburgh Steelers Polka
2. Here We Go Steelers (2008 Edition)
3. The Steelers Better Win Or I'm Going To Be Hung Over On Monday.


ENTRY 11. Stephanie Goldberg

1. Rosalita
2. Thunder Road
3. Born to Run


ENTRY 12. Kelly the Counter

1. Born to Run
2. Glory Days
3. Dancing in the Dark

White t-shirt, black boots and one guitar.

Extra: He will pull Courtney Cox up on stage for Dancing in the Dark.


ENTRY 13 (A-E). Spencer Maus

A. City Themes
1. Streets of Philadelphia
2. Atlantic City
3. Viva Las Vegas

Bus driver's uniform with black work shoes.


B. Sports Theme
1. Glory Days
2. Theme from The Wrestler
3. Born to Run (I know it's a stretch)

Football jersey, jeans, tennis shoes.


C. "I really want to be Johnny Cash"
1. Walk the Line
2. Folsom Prison Blues
3. Born in the USA (has to sing one of his own)

Black jeans, black shirt open to reveal a black undershirt, black bandana, black socks, black cowboy boots.


D. "I really miss Courtney Cox"
1. Dancin' in the Dark
2. Tunnel of Love
3. Hungry Heart

Tuxedo, cummerbund, bow tie, black patent leather shoes, black socks, no shirt.


E. "I always wanted to be on Broadway"
A medley from Jersey Boys, Mama Mia and Thriller (now playing in London).

Numerous costume changes with one wardrobe malfunction


ENTRY 14. Tom Gaines

1. Born in the USA
2. Working on a Dream
3. The Rising

A very Born in the U.S.A. look: blue or black jeans, bandana, white t-shirt, black leather jacket.


ENTRY 15. Michelle-Renee Perkins

1. Born to Run
2. The Wrestler (I would like to hear The Rising AGAIN! There may be a Bruce/E Street Band medley!)
3. Born in the USA

"The Bruce" will be wearing black jeans, boots and a black shirt. Mickey Rourke will sing back up.


ENTRY 16. Sarah Cunningham

1. Girls In Their Summer Clothes
2. Badlands
3. Born to Run

Blue jeans, white t-shirt. Two guitars.


ENTRY 17. Cathy Haibach

1. Promised Land
2. My Lucky Day
3. Born in the USA

I think he will start off the set with a song he played at his Obama concerts, one that acknowledges the President's success. The second song will be one off of his new album, and I'm taking a total shot in the dark with "My Lucky Day" because I haven't heard it, but this one seems to have a relevant message. And he will end with "Born in the USA," which I'm guessing on even though IMHO it's one of the most boring and repetitive songs he ever wrote, because he'll think he needs to reassure the Republicans who can't believe that he played Obama concerts that he is really a good American after all, so they will buy his new record with "My Lucky Day" on it.

He will use two different guitars and a harmonica. He will be wearing a white T-shirt and jeans, which one of his dancers will rip off by mistake revealing a red bandana G-string. And also he will end his set with the words "Thank you."





1. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

COMMENT: Um, what? Nobody picked this. A feel-good opener, but a strange tune to go back to in 2009.

2. Born to Run.

COMMENT: You'd think this would be the song he'd wrap things up with. Or open with.

COMMENT: Prince was way better. This is nothing.

COMMENT: Too many fireworks. Cheesy boring fireworks.

3. Working on a Dream.

COMMENT: And now a new song that pales dramatically in comparison to the last two. He ought to have done that Pepsi commercial, not Dylan.

4. Glory Days.

COMMENT: Some people did pick this, and it works. But he's cheesing it up. The band doesn't sound good. It might as well be a crappy cover band. Paging Prince!

COMMENT: They really need that many people on stage to play such a thin-sounding version of this song?

COMMENT: Oh my Lord! That referee just ruined Bruce's entire career. This is a mockery.

COMMENT: Oh please! Is that it? That sucked!

COMMENT: That just totally sucked.


TIEBREAKERS: Black shirt with sleeves rolled up under a black vest. Medallion necklace thingie. Black jeans; black boots. One guitar: the Telecaster.





Honorable Mention: SPENCER MAUS. Spencer picked Born to Run and Glory Days in his Sports Theme entry, and while Bruce was not wearing a football uniform, a referee did run on stage.

Co-Runners Up: JEANETTE PESNIKOV AND KELLY THE COUNTER. Jeanette picked Born to Run and Working on a Dream, while Kelly picked Born to Run and Glory Days. In the tiebreaker, Jeanette had the black shirt, but erred with blue jeans and two guitars. Kelly had block boots and one guitar, but erred with the white t-shirt.

Winner: SCOTT BUCKNER! Scott picked Born to Run and Glory Days. He won on the tiebreakers by picking a button-up shirt, jeans and boots, with one guitar.

To redeem your prizes, each of the four medalists should send us their mailing address. We will publicly announce what they've won once the prizes have been delivered. Thanks for playing, everyone!

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