OK, let's get the obvious cliche out of the way right up front: We've got a feelin' this Super Bowl halftime show won't be as lame as last year's.
We sure hope so, because our ears have barely recovered from Roger Daltrey's off-key caterwauling in Miami.
Taking a tentative step toward making the mini-concert sandwiched between the second and third quarters relevant to viewers under the age of 60, the NFL has signed up the Black Eyed Peas to handle the halftime duties Sunday at Cowboys Stadium.
The league won't get a medal for bravery. Make no mistake, this is a safe choice.
The Peas, despite occasional dirty words and Fergie's sexy posturing, are mainstream and family friendly. And they've already performed in a Super Bowl pre-game show, back in 2005.
They know the drill. Sing the hits (usually in medley form, because time is so limited), hop around like you care and get off the stage so the real show can resume. Throw in a couple of surprise guests — look for Usher and Slash at this one — and you've got a perfectly respectable show that should appeal to a broad audience.
That's what the NFL wants. The league has been playing defense with its halftime show since 2004 in Houston when Justin Timberlake ripped off a piece of Janet Jackson's top — the last time the Super Bowl was in Texas.
Fergie promises no wardrobe malfunctions this time.
"You want to show a little sex appeal," she said during an occasionally racy news conference Thursday with the rest of the group, will.i.am, Taboo and apl.de.ap. "But you don't want to get in trouble."
After that debacle in Houston, the NFL turned to a string of older rockers, from Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones to Bruce Springsteen and Prince (though the Boss showed plenty of energy, and we'll give the Purpled One credit for a rocking show and that cagey move he pulled with his guitar to project a huge, if suggestive, image on a curtain).
A year ago, the NFL went with The Who, an outstanding choice for, say, 1969. Vocalist Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend are all that's left of the once-great band, both in their mid-60s, sounding and looking nothing like they did in their prime.
If nothing else, the NFL can read an audience. One of the suits who spoke before the Peas' news conference even dropped a very telling word for this year's choice: "energetic."
Good enough. But now maybe we can talk 'em into something even more daring for next year's game: How about Kanye West — with surprise guest Taylor Swift?
We've got a feeling that would REALLY be interesting.