Normally half the fun of Super Bowl is the media-week interviews that take place before the biggest event in sports.
That's where the tight ends step to the microphone to announce that they are just doing their best to 100 percent help the team. And where Bill Belichick rambles on for 55 minutes when asked what his game plan is going to be.
One thing you won't be seeing this week is an interview with Super Bowl LIII's half-time performers Maroon 5. Proving again that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is determined to show Gary Bettman what unlikeable really looks like, the league has issued a statement announcing that Maroon 5 will not be made available.
The statement reads in part: " “As it is about music [as opposed to, you know, football's marqee event] the artists will let their show do the talking as they prepare to take the stage this Sunday.”
Maroon 5 will be joined by Travis Scott and Big Boi during the half-time show when the Super Bowl takes place in Atlanta on Sunday.
One might posit that there are number of reasons for not making the group available.
Maroon 5 might be asked what it was like being the third act the NFL reached out to after both Cardi B and Rihanna both flatly said "no". Both artists turned the NFL down for reasons that included, but were not necessarily limited to, the way the league banned players from taking a knee in protest during the playing of the national anthem this year.
Singer Adam Levine and those other guys in Maroon 5 might also be asked about Colin Kaepernick, who was the first player to take a knee during the anthem. Kaepernick no longer has a job in the NFL, with many believing that he was blacklisted for taking a knee to draw attention to way that America treats people of colour. The former player is again back in the news today thanks Pink Floyd's Roger Waters asking Maroon 5 to take a knee for Kaepernick during their Super Bowl Halftime performance.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Waters posted video of himself taking a knee with his band, along with the following: "This is my band taking a knee at the end of a gig in Hartford, Connecticut on Sunday 24th of September 2017. We did it in solidarity with San Francisco Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s gesture of protest against the endemic racism and often deadly force meted out by police departments across this land. It was the third Sunday of Colin Kaepernick’s lock out by the NFL. The message was clear, 'Shut your mouth, boy!'"
He continued with: "My colleagues Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi are performing during the halftime show at the Super-bowl this coming Sunday, I call upon them to 'take a knee' on stage in full sight. I call upon them to do it in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, to do it for every child shot to death on these mean streets, to do it for every bereaved mother and father and brother and sister. My mother used to say to me, “In any situation there is nearly always a right thing to do, just do it.” So, there you go my brothers, you are faced with a choice, I’m not saying it will be easy, all the Presidents men, all the huffers and puffers, will be royally pissed off, but, $#@%’em, I call upon you to do it because it’s the right thing to do and because somewhere inside you know it."
On the other side of the coin, there are many in America, most of them wearing red hats, who will argue the NFL was simply trying to spare Maroon 5 the embarassment of someone asking the band the names of everyone in Maroon 5 who's not named Adam Levine.
Enjoy the game. Except for the part where Roger Goodell shows up with the Vince Lombardi trophy and a shit-eating grin.
In the meantime, click here to see how it's done.