My indie arts family is psyched for the national college football championship game tonight between the Clemson Tigers and Alabama’s Crimson Tide. I didn’t know until yesterday that Imagine Dragons will do the halftime show. I hadn’t listened to much of that band’s music, but when I saw a columnist dissing them as halftime entertainment while expressing positive feelings about their music, I revisited their song “Zero” and a couple others. The columnist suggested a great musician would’ve been a better fit for the gig. I disagree.
I do understand why some people can’t equate Imagine Dragons’ music to musical preferences by the fan base for college football. I found one survey, from Marist, that took a snapshot of the fan base. Here’s what the polling outfit found:
“Men, residents who earn $50,000 or more annually, and those in the Midwest, West, and South are those who are most likely to be college football fans.”
The poll is older—it dates to 2010. The respondents comprised 54 percent who watch college football. Survey respondents also liked pro ball better than college ball.
Another poll taken by Harris Interactive in 2014 found college football came in third—even beaten by baseball—when it came to sports preferences. That survey found Southerners made up 17 percent of the respondents placing college football at the top of their sports favs.
The columnist at the Daily Caller, David Hookstead, suggested country music icon George Strait for halftime entertainment at the championship game.
I love George Strait’s music and I love college football way way more than NFL, but I disagree with Hookstead. Strait’s music usually commands a captive audience. At a football game like the Tigers-Tide matchup, I just think it wouldn’t do his music justice. At halftime during games, there’s constant motion among the masses, and I think up-tempo is the best way to go.
I don’t necessarily think Imagine Dragons fits the bill perfectly, but I do like that song “Zero” very much, mainly because of the beat and the lyrics. The band has certainly earned respect, recently thanking Spotify on Twitter, and announcing their championship halftime performance too. The band’s numbers are impressive—107 million fans; 2 billion streams. That suggests broad popularity. You can scroll down on their Twitter page and see those Spotify stats.
Frankly, I rarely watch halftime shows. That’s the moment I get up and go outside for a bit. I also rarely watch games where there’s a serious mismatch between teams. I get no pleasure out of seeing a team get tromped as we saw with some of the playoff games. I like real competitions. I don’t fit the bill for those surveys either. Give me a good college game between any two teams over baseball or the NFL’s increasingly confusing bureaucratic red tape rules and insane penalty calls.
I didn’t go to Clemson for college—I went to Clemson’s long time rival college. But when it comes to football, I am a Tigers fan. I do admire Alabama—what fan doesn’t? But tonight, in my house, it will be all about Go, Tigers. And when halftime comes, I’ll step outside for a bit.
(Kay B. Day/Jan. 7, 2019)