The first half of the Super Bowl has been crazy to behold. And while it seems like Justin Timberlake could never top it with his halftime show, you never know. One crazy plan that Timberlake has in store has reportedly been scrapped.
What we do know is that Timberlake has an enormous audience to entertain, and since music icon Prince is a Minnesota native, Timberlake had better find some way of paying tribute to the Purple One.
The logic for this fairly simple and rooted in geography. It's something I've been imagining since before the playoffs began. Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson in 1958, hailed from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and lived in the state for most of his life -- he died at his Paisley Park studio in April of 2016. Prince's life was rooted in the state and his personal preference of color (purple) matches perfectly with the state's football team.
Those very Vikings love blasting "Let's Go Crazy" after big touchdown scores, and Prince once wrote a song "Purple and Gold" inspired by visiting the Vikes for a playoff game against the Cowboys. NFL Network has been bumping Prince on the advertisements for the Super Bowl. The Vikings nicknamed their new stadium "Purple Heaven" in tribute to Prince; the state and the legendary artist are intrinsically linked.
Prince is linked to the Super Bowl too. There are things you can quibble with on Nate Peterson's annual Super Bowl halftime show rankings, but there is no doubt that Prince deserves the No. 1 spot on his list. His version of "Purple Rain" -- in the rain -- is the best of the best.
The Purple One always appreciated a good cover too. If you haven't seen him annihilate the guitar solo in "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" at the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame ceremony with the late, great Tom Petty, spend some time marinating on that as well.
Timberlake could easily bust out a Prince joint without taking away from his own songs and while highlighting his own talents. Something like "Let's Go Crazy" as the opening song -- or just as an opening riff before diving into his own work -- would set U.S. Bank Stadium on fire. It wouldn't be tough to pull off. Going with "Purple Rain" has face-melting potential, but it could also backfire if Timberlake didn't completely nail it.
Regardless, he should take the leap and give it a shot.
Check out SportsLine's look at the top 10 craziest prop bets for Super Bowl Sunday.
So what are the actual odds of this happening? According to Bovada.lv, they're not great (or they're great and I'm about to lay lumber on that "Yes").
Will Justin Timberlake cover a Prince song during Halftime? (via Bovada.lv)
Yes +200 (2/1)
No -300 (1/3)
Those are not great odds, and it is kind of surprising. There is some brief history of a diss situation between the two artists, but Timberlake is holding a listening party for his new album "Man of the Woods" at Paisley Park, so perhaps the two sides -- or at least Timberlake and Prince's estate? -- made up.
The song choices for Timberlake to cover are pretty obvious. Either "Let's Go Crazy" -- which, again, the Vikings use all the time -- or "Purple Rain" would be the clear-cut choices for me. Doing some kind of montage situation where you bust out several Prince songs would be fun as well.
Throw "1999" into the group too if you want to play the odds. TopBet.eu lists it as one of three most likely options should Timberlake end up covering a Prince song. Right after are "Raspberry Beret" and "When Doves Cry" -- it's hard to imagine Timberlake doing a slow song other than "Purple Rain."
Which Prince song will be covered first? (via TopBet)
Lets Go Crazy -200
Purple Rain +400
Raspberry Beret +900
I Would Die 4 U +1500
When Doves Cry +2000
Little Red Corvette +6000
U Got the Look +7500
I Wanna Be Your Lover +7500
Justin Timberlake Doesn't Sing a Prince Song +350
You can also bet on any other song ("the field") but the odds are +750 for that. If I'm wagering on this, I'm throwing down on "Purple Rain" as some kind of quick, two-minute slow jam based on the odds.
Based on what should actually happen, well, there's no doubt about it. JT should flood the stadium with purple, or have the entire crowd hold up some kind of purple glowstick thing they put underneath their seats (this is a regular occurrence at the Super Bowl) and belt out "Let's Go Crazy" for the first two minutes of his halftime show before launching into his own work.
Assuming there is not some long-standing grudge that would cause Prince to roll over in his purple-padded grave, it's the kind of thing Prince would want, and it has the potential to make Timberlake's halftime show the stuff of legends. At the very least, he can blissfully eradicate all memories of his last time on stage in the middle of the Super Bowl.