Jackson’s Legacy

There’s no denying Michael Jackson’s impact. Love him or hate him, he had an impact on you. Regardless of the affairs of his private life, he was revolutionary and controversial from the get go. Whether it was music videos, dancing, or his patented one glove spin and grab move, he got your attention. Thriller is to this day probably the greatest music video of all time. Movies have paid homage to it and rock bands have covered elements of it. Beat It made it into a recent version of Guitar Hero.

But there’s more.

But during my regular 9 minute 37 second drive into work this morning they talked about another impact that MJ had, one that I had thought of but hadn’t heard a bunch of people talking about before this morning: Michael Jackson changed the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Before MJ it was not a big deal. It was the moment that everyone trucked it into the kitchen to load up on the Super Bowl goodies. But he changed all of that. You stayed in your seat to watch the halftime show. It wasn’t just a performance, it was a spectacle. And it was awesome.

Since that performance, people have looked forward to the halftime show. Who’s it going to be this year? Will they be good? Of course, the halftime show is now probably more associated with the “wardrobe malfunction,” and personally, I think that the halftime show peaked with the 2002 halftime show. If you don’t remember, it was U2. This was the post-9/11 Super Bowl. U2 are the quintessential performance artists, giving a fantastic show, but this was transcendent. I never thought I would tear up at a Super Bowl halftime performance, but that show did it. I will never forget the giant sheets scrolling the names of those who lost their lives on 9/11, Bono sprinting around the stage, and the moment that Bono opened his jacket and showed everyone that in the midst of these tragic circumstances, even these Irish rockers were proud to be American.

It still gives me chills.


(note: if you click on the video you can watch it in HD at Youtube. It’s worth it.)

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