In a move out of left field, the NFL has shifted the goalposts and selected opera star Renée Fleming to sing the national anthem at Super Bowl XLVIII.
Mixed sports analogies aside, the move, while a departure from the recent trend of pop stars singing the anthem, isn’t that strange when considering the list of previous Super Bowl performers.
Previously, marching bands, children’s choirs, orchestras and trumpeters have all kicked off the show (That’s the last sports idiom, I promise).
But acts like those have been out of vogue since the ‘90s, so the selection of Fleming is a bit unexpected. So I’ve compiled a few theories as to why they chose Fleming:
- Perhaps negotiations with Beyoncé fell through when the NFL wouldn’t rename the event “Super Blue IV.”
- Perhaps the Ohio State Marching Band backed out when the entertainment planners told them it couldn’t use its iPads during the performance.
- Perhaps Christina Aguilera forgot to answer the phone.
- Perhaps it’s because Fleming is the only person the entertainment planners could convince to come to New Jersey in February.
- Or perhaps, in honor of the 10-year anniversary of 2004’s Nipplegate fiasco featuring Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson, they’ve decided to play it safe this year and avoid those crazy pop singers.
Regardless of the reasoning, Fleming will probably do a good job — and expose millions of Americans to opera, not a nipple, for the first time while she’s at it.
Fleming isn’t a bad singer. She’s actually a very talented lyric soprano.
But honestly, most of us just watch for the commercials anyway, so who cares?