That slight twitching you feel in your betting muscles?  That’s your body’s way of telling you the NFL season is just over two months away.  But looking two months ahead is so two months ago – it’s time to start thinking Super Bowl, baby!  Recent odds have the Pats as 5/2 favourites to go to Tampa and win it all.  The Cowboys are next at 9/2, followed by the Colts (6/1), then the Jags (10/1), Giants (10/1) and Chargers (10/1).

And while betting on the Super Bowl winner in July is a fun form of speculation, we were disappointed that we couldn’t find odds for the other big question surrounding Super Sunday – namely, who is going to play at halftime?  So we went ahead and created our own.

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"We were okay, but Prince's devil wang is a tough act to follow." - Tom Petty quote (probably)

A few preliminary notes:

1) No act has played halftime more than once; consequently, there are no odds listed for would-be repeat performers.  Apologies to fans of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

2) Our research turned up a startling statistic: in the last century, Florida, the host state, has produced exactly 0 quality bands/musicians. Unless you count Iron & Wine.  And the only halftime show ol’ Sam Beam will be playing is halftime of the World Frolf Championships.

Here we go, worst odds to best:

Madonna: 150 to 1

ProsAs proven by her performance at LiveEarth 2007 (and countless orgies), A-Rod’s mistress can still put on a helluva show for a big crowd.  
ConsWith the final chapter in the Janet Jackson saga only recently written, is America really ready for a “Labiagate”?

Jay-Z: 100 to 1

Pros: Rap’s living legend is at the perfect stage of his career to finally introduce the NFL to the most popular musical genre in North America (Queen Latifah’s 1998 cameo doesn’t count).
Cons: Given their recent crackdown on gang signs, the hyper-image-conscious No Fun League will likely shy away from the unapologetic former hustla. 

R.E.M: 50 to 1

Pros: Old.  Good.  Big.
Cons: Despite tens of millions of album sales and numerous hits, they are probably still considered too “alternative” for halftime.  Also, there is the risk that international viewers will confuse Michael Stipe with Moby and change the channel.

Carlos Santana: 35 to 1

Pros: Guitar legend; moustache; possibly related to Tito.
Cons: Still has the stink of Chad Kroeger and Rob Thomas on him.  Not even tomato juice gets that out.

David Bowie: 30 to 1

Pros: Would fit nicely with the recent trend of “Super-Bowl-Halftime-Shows-as-Lifetime-Achievement-Awards-for-Outstanding-Achievements-in-the-Field-of-Excellence” (see Petty, Tom, McCartney, Paul, Stones, Rolling and 2, U).
Cons: See R.E.M (sans Moby-confusion issue).  And, just for fun, “see his pug-nosed face…”

The Eagles: 15 to 1

Pros: Although terrible, there is the matter of them having the greatest selling album of all time.  Also, they recently released their (shudder) first new material in almost three decades.
Cons: Damn.  It’s going to be The Eagles, isn’t it? 

The Police: 12 to 1

Pros: Recent reunion gives superstar band some momentum; safe choice.
Cons: Given the last fifteen years of Sting’s musical output, he is dangerously close to being remembered as much for his lengthy sessions of old man sex as he is for his musical genius.

Red Hot Chili Peppers: 8 to 1

Pros: Old enough to have a multi-generational fanbase; young enough to convince the NFL they are being hip.
Cons: Currently on a self-imposed hiatus (although a Super Bowl slot might be just the thing to draw them out of it).

Bon Jovi: 7 to 1

Pros: Let’s not kid around - Bon Jovi’s entire career has been a cleverly marketed and flawlessly executed effort to secure a slot in the Super Bowl halftime show.
Cons: No way they should be the Jersey act rocking that stage.  

AC/DC:  7 to 1

Pros: Of everyone on this list, would likely be the overwhelming choice of hardcore football fans (with the exception of the next guy).
Cons: Of everyone on this list, would likely be the overwhelming choice of hardcore football fans.  Also, despite topping numerous “fan request” lists for inclusion in the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games, they have only recently agreed to licence one of their songs for the upcoming Rock Band II.  And that song is ”Let There Be Rock”.  Now it’s a good song, but even crazy old Axl had the decency to licence “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Welcome to the Jungle” instead of “Coma”.  For that, karma will punish them.

Bruce Springsteen: 4 to 1

Pros: Would give the greatest performance in Super Bowl history.
Cons: Just seems like the natural choice.  So much so that you can’t help but think he’s been asked to do it every year, and the conversation has always gone something like this:

NFL: Come on, Bruce, please play the Super Bowl?
Boss: No dice.
NFL: But why?
Boss: Because I’m awesome.

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So who’s your best bet?

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Beyoncé: 3 to 1

Pros: Apparently has a new album coming out at the end of 2008; is Beyoncé.
Cons: Not many.  If not this year, pencil her in for one of the next three.  That is, unless she and H.O.V.A. go Scientologist on us.  Odds on that: even.