clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Super Bowl halftime show became big deal during Buffalo Bills run

After the Bills had some eclectic halftime shows, they became big business.

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Super Bowl halftime show hasn’t always been a big blockbuster of recording artists, but during the Buffalo Bills’ run of four consecutive Super Bowls that all changed. This year, Lady Gaga will continue a tradition begun by “The King of Pop” himself back during the early 1990s.

Super Bowl XXV

“The first all-kid Super Bowl halftime show” in Tampa featured singing and dancing, sure. This was much different though as hundreds of singing and dancing kids started the show followed by appearances from lots of Disney characters and Warren Moon. It slows down for a performance of “Wind Beneath My Wings” by a little kid, a song Bette Midler would take to the top of the charts in the aftermath of the United States’ war with Iraq. The President and Mrs. Bush also lent their voices discussing the troops in a somber tone while kids waved flags. Disney characters returned with a medley before a song from New Kids On The Block. Cub Scouts arrive for the big finish singing “It’s a Small World (After All)” with Mickey and the Disney gang.

Super Bowl XXVI

It would be difficult to find a more varied group of performers than the 1992 halftime show. Minnesota welcomes everyone to a winter-themed show featuring dancing snowmen, snowflakes, ballroom dancing, and a full marching band before figure skaters Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamill perform a routine. THEN THEY RIDE SNOWMOBILES OUT OF THE STADIUM! After some more dancing Gloria Estefan, who is from Cuba and has nothing to do with the cold or Minnesota or the skating that happened before, performs before a big Winter finale.

Super Bowl XXVII

This is the one that altered every Super Bowl halftime show that would come after. Even James Earl Jones calls it “unprecedented” in the intro and Michael Jackson blows it out of the water. A fake Michael Jackson comes out of a video board on the top of the stadium (for some reason) before the real deal pops out of the stage in the middle of the field. He looks savage, by the way., and stands there for forever raking in the applause. A medley set includes “Jam”, “Billie Jean”, “Black or White”, “We Are The World”, “Heal the World”, a lot of dancing, a costume change, a bunch of kids from around the world, and a huge inflatable globe.

Super Bowl XXVIII

After Jackson, there was no way they could go back to the large-group, mass performance type of show again. Instead it was a country music spectacular. Travis Tritt, Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, The Judds performed with an awful lot of line dancers. Doesn’t “Love Can Build A Bridge” get you pumped, sports fans? After performing some of their individual hits, this is the big finish.

With Lady Gaga set to perform in 2017, it probably won’t end with a heartfelt ballad.