It’s the duty of all Super Bowl organizers to find long-in-the-tooth, formerly respectable artists and make them play their most anodyne hits for the overexcited nitwits on the field and the bored drunk people at home. That didn’t stop Prince from rocking shit last year, but how will Tom Petty fare? Got something upbeat? That’s going in the playlist. Something about America, or at least has the words “America” or “American” in the title? You beat your hippie ass you’re playing that. But which will be first? WHO YA GOT?

Contestants

“Learning to Fly”_______”American Girl”

Recorded

1991_________1976

Song actually about

Drugs___________Girls from America who enjoy drugs

Length comparison

1.0 = .891

Present day use

Movie trailers__________Car commericials

Allmusic.com pretention

LtF: “It’s pleasant but never really goes anywhere — up or down — but it’s solid”

AG: “Guitarist Mike Campbell reels off a simple solo that develops into a rapid-fire arpeggio as the song makes its quick fade. It’s over before it starts, really — clean, simple, that’s its appeal.”

TV analyst mostly likely to dislike it

Bradshaw, who doesn’t like learning___Joe Buck, who doesn’t like girls

Finishing Move

Hairy nip slip______Playing some shitty single off a new album