It's that time of year, when America's favorite unofficial holiday gives the nation license to drink irresponsibly on Sunday night and turn into marketing experts. That's right: the Super Bowl is here, and if it's anything like five of the last 16 years, the New England Patriots are bound to win.
Fortunately for you, we Americans can't enjoy a sport merely for competition's sake: It has to be big, it has to be bold, and it has to bring tons of smoky-hot garlic flavor. Wait, no, that's Guy Fieri, though the Super Bowl has a similar sense of swagger. The event has morphed from its humble beginnings as the 1967 championship game into the brash spectacle of ceremony, celebrity, and product placement. The halftime show is an essential part of this spectacle, and each year's performers earn a place among the most famous people alive.
It wasn't always this way. After 1992's impossibly awful "Winter Magic" theme (complete with kids "rapping" a Frosty the Snowman song), the NFL stepped up its game. The next year, Michael Jackson changed the halftime show forever, adding his trademark showmanship and a badass moonwalk to make a one-sided game watchable. It's also convenient for us that MJ performed in 1993, because it means there have been 25 "modern" halftime shows to evaluate and rank. For your Big Game consideration: