It’s appropriate that on Palindrome Day (02.02.2020) Spurs got turned around quite a bit but still managed to steal three points from the defending champions. Certainly an exciting match and a huge win, but nobody’s going to put that overall performance into any top-ten lists anywhere. Even so: scoreboard!
There was another big game on yesterday too. Say what you want about last night’s Super Bowl — it was certainly a fast-moving gridiron game, and featured a very entertaining 10-point comeback by the Kansas City (Mo.) Chiefs as they beat San Francisco.
But the real highlight was the halftime show, featuring a 50-year old Jennifer Lopez and a 43-year old Shakira, that was dazzling, musically fantastic, and entertaining as hell. It was right up there with the best of the best halftime shows in Super Bowl history. Which got us thinking that this would make a pretty darned good theme.
There have been lots of great (and awful) Super Bowl halftime shows, too many to rank completely, so we limited the scope to just include the shows from the past decade (2010-2019). That means we’re NOT including some of your favorites (2007’s Prince show will be hard to ever top), and last night’s show in these rankings is out because technically it’s a new decade. (Real start of the decade truthers — I see you.)
5 stars: Beyonce & Destiny’s Child (2013)
Holy smokes. This was Bey at her absolute best, and bringing her Destiny’s Child collaborators onto the stage with her took the performance from excellent to spectacular. It should be in the top ten halftime shows of any era.
Hugo Lloris (Community — 4.5): Spectacular. Brave on and off the line and made several outstanding saves, including getting a boot to Aguero’s shot that tipped it onto the crossbar and saving another shot with a diving backwards leap to tip it over the bar. Saved another penalty, too.
4 stars: Lady Gaga (2017)
I think most people expected Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime show to be weird, controversial, and super political. Instead it was just a solid, musically-forward performance, touching on all of her best works. It was just a show — a really, really good one with outstanding musical performance and minus any gimmicks.
Steven Bergwijn (Community — 4): What a debut form Big Steve! He was constantly showing for the ball and was used as a creative outlet on the flank, something we haven’t really seen this season. Took his goal well and worked hard throughout. Welcome to Tottenham.
3.5 stars: Katy Perry, Missy Elliott, Lenny Kravitz (2015)
Katy Perry’s halftime show wasn’t really musically spectacular, but it was awfully, awfully fun. Sure, Missy Elliott and Lenny Kravitz were a part of that, but the best part of it was very clearly Perry’s influence on the sets and staging — trippy and wild, complete with giant palm trees and a drunk guy wearing a shark costume. Long live Left Shark!
Harry Winks (Community — 4): Winksy’s turnaround since Jose Mourinho has arrived has been remarkable. He’s still a little painful when asked to track and defend in transition but he’s starting to add a progressive aspect to his passing now and it’s great. He played well, and got Zinchenko sent off with a driving run down the middle (and the knowledge of when to go down).
Giovani Lo Celso (Community — 4): Again showed class on the ball and provided the defensive spine (what little there was) in midfield, epitomized by his tackle on Kyle Walker in the second half.
Toby Alderweireld (Community — 4): Cleared a ball off the line and did his best against a pretty potent City attack. Got turned around a couple of times but Toby was Tottenham’s best defender, again.
Son Heung-Min (Community — 4): Unquestionably poor in the first half when deployed on the flank, he got better as soon as he and Lucas swapped positions. Worked hard and took his (deflected) goal well, but there’s still something off about his game.
Tanguy Ndombele (Community — 4): Tanguy came on and immediately set up a goal, and shimmied his way through a tired City midfield on a number of occasions but did show a touch of rust which is to be expected. But man, when he’s in there, good things happen. Weird to see him in the 10 role, though. He’s better deeper.
Jose Mourinho (Community — 4): Jose set the team up well but it’s hard to give too much credit to the manager when you were obliterated by xG and got the win only by a combination of a red card, poor finishing, and a whole lot of luck.
3 stars: Coldplay, Beyonce, Bruno Mars (2016)
Look, I’m hardly a Coldplay fan and Beyonce & Bruno both super upstaged them. Even so, the end result was strangely a pretty good collaborative halftime show. It wasn’t perfect and Coldplay still looked like the hired extras, but you know what? It wasn’t awful.
Japhet Tanganga (Community — 4): Another solid if unspectacular outing, which I’ll absolutely take when you’re playing a 20-year old center back out of position on the left. Indirectly led to the open goal chance in the second half by losing his position and colliding with Hugo (did you see Hugo literally bounce off him?) but coped with Mahrez about as well as you could ask for.
Davinson Sanchez (Community — 3.5): A decently good defensive performance that was undone by a hospital ball that led to Aguero plonking off the post, and a late header that caromed off the bar. He can be a defensive standout if he’d just cut out the brain-farts.
Erik Lamela (Community — 3): ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
2.5 stars: Black Eyed Peas (2011)
The previous decade of halftime shows was dominated by bands towards the end of their careers and that appealed to an older, whiter populace — U2, Rolling Stones, Shania Twain, Paul McCartney, Tom Petty. So here come the Black-Eyed Peas to young the place up... and they were pretty bad. Critically panned with weird light-up outfits, not even Slash and a nod towards Guns ‘N Roses could save this show. The Black Eyed Peas actually disbanded by the end of 2011.
Serge Aurier (Community — 3.5): The 2-minute delay before the penalty decision while play went on was intolerable, but it was unquestionably the right decision to penalize Aurier for his tackle on Aguero. That’s a pretty big derp, and while Serge was pretty good going forward he got rinsed several times defensively. In a match where Spurs were thoroughly outgunned, I can’t overlook that.
Lucas Moura (Community — 3.5): His chipped pass to Bergwijn was exceptional, but Lucas dribbled into so many blind alleys in this match, especially in the first half. Extremely still not a striker and we should stop playing him there.
Dele (Community — 3): To be fair, Dele played the majority of the match with what looked like a very painful ankle injury that limited his mobility, but he continued his frustrating spell of hard work with little to show for it. Subbed off in the second half.
1 star: Maroon 5 (2019)
Who in the world thought this was a good idea? This was milquetoast, dialed-in nonsense, with no drama and very little spectacle aside from Adam Levine taking his shirt off. I get that a lot of bands didn’t want the gig because of how Kaepernick was treated, but was this really the best the NFL could do?
No Tottenham players were as bad as Maroon 5’s Super Bowl halftime show.
Up with People Memorial Non-Rating
Eric Dier (Community — n/a)