Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers did their best to bring some energy to what had otherwise been a largely lifeless Super Bowl through one half.
The game went downhill as soon as Peyton Manning watched the ball roll into the end zone for a safety 12 seconds into the contest. The Seattle Seahawks defense had suffocated Manning and the Denver Broncos offense, running out to a massive 22-0 lead through two quarters.
MetLife Stadium had some energy to start the game, but the air was sucked out completely after Denver's first-half collapse.
You almost felt sorry for both Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, because they had to almost revive the crowd from a deep slumber. The key was avoiding any kind of Ashlee Simpson-type meltdown and stadium revolt.
Mars is a great live performer who can do it all, so there was little chance that he was going to disappoint. While his performance likely won't go down in history, it was still very good. And combining with RHCP was a nice melding of generations and styles.
As with any Super Bowl halftime performance, Twitter was ablaze with reactions, both positive and negative.
SBNation's Jon Bois got worried when the lights went out in the stadium:
THEY TURNED OFF THE LIGHTS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SUPER BOWL AGAIN!— Jon Bois (@jon_bois) February 3, 2014
Clearly the Super Bowl had gotten to ESPN's Robert Flores. By that point, though, Joe Namath in a big fur coat was an upgrade from the actual game:
At this point, the halftime show might as well be Joe Namath and his coat. Doing card tricks. #SB48— Robert Flores (@RoFloESPN) February 3, 2014
Of course, Jack Moore was less than thrilled with the prospect of Bruno Mars and RHCP on the same stage:
Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers. A match made in meh-ven.— Jack Moore (@JackPMoore) February 3, 2014
At least Bruno had the approval of the "King" himself:
Great song!! So energetic http://t.co/Z8DYlGTm82— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 3, 2014
Plus, his stock is soaring on Mel Kiper's 2014 NFL draft big board, per Tim Ryan:
Quickly moving up Mel's big board. RT @FootballExpert: Mel Kiper likes Bruno Mars' footwork.— Tim Ryan (@TheSportsHernia) February 3, 2014
The Peyton Manning jokes were flying hard and fast, courtesy of SportsPickle, CBSSports.com's Matt Norlander and the Sklar Brothers:
"Give it away, give it away, give it away now!" "I am!" - Peyton Manning— SportsPickle (@sportspickle) February 3, 2014
You make me feel like, I’ve been locked out of the endzone. — Peyton Mars— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) February 3, 2014
That's so cool that Bruno Mars is standing everywhere Peyton Manning threw an interception in the first half. #superbowl— The Sklar Brothers (@SklarBrothers) February 3, 2014
Turner Sports' Rachel Nichols still puts Prince at the head of the pack when it comes to recent Super Bowl halftime shows:
Best halftime show I've seen in person is still Prince doing Purple Rain...in the rain.— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) February 3, 2014
Sports Illustrated's Seth Davis still heaped plenty of praise on Bruno Mars, comparing him to two music legends:
So this is Michael Jackson meets James Brown meets Buddy Holly? I'm feelin it.— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) February 3, 2014
Bob Ryan of The Boston Globe thought the halftime performance did great in that all-important "60-somethings" demographic:
Consensus among 60-somethings where I am: Bravo Bruno!— Bob Ryan (@GlobeBobRyan) February 3, 2014
For those monitoring the betting lines, the Chili Peppers did in fact perform without shirts on. That was one of the more intriguing prop bets heading into the game, as Wager Minds pointed out:
Prop Bet Update: Will any member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers be shirtless during halftime? Yes was +100. It wins convincingly.— WagerMinds (@WagerMinds) February 3, 2014
NASCAR star Jimmie Johnson thought Anthony Kiedis was channeling his inner Travis Junior with the mustache he was sporting on Sunday night:
Is Anthony Kiedis wearing tights? His mustache is all Reno 911 too. #SB48— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) February 3, 2014
Here's to hoping that the second half of the Super Bowl can take some notes from the halftime performance and provide some more excitement.