Image via YouTube The Super Bowl is one of America's greatest exports. Watching the New England Patriots' come-back victory against the Atlanta Falcons in a 34-28 historical overtime stunner was the stuff of legends. Even Super Bowl commercials are inspiring declarations of materialistic might, from Budweiser's underdog story to Mr. Clean spawning a whole new genre of porn. Lady Gaga's halftime was also a sight to behold. Stefani Gaga put on a subversive eyebang complete with drones making sky art, crotch gyrations and her jumping off the roof of Houston's NRG Stadium. As a Canadian, I couldn't help but be a little jealous.
In Canada, we have the CFL—Canadian Football League if you were curious with the championship being the Grey Cup. While the Super Bowl might be the best show on Earth, the Grey Cup isn't even the best show in Canada. To say the CFL is like watching grass grow doesn't capture the sad spirit. It's more like watching a hairline recede. It's more like biting into a microwaved burrito but it's still frozen inside and also your friends are dead. CFL stands for Canceled Fun League. I'm from Saskatchewan, by the way. All we have is the CFL season and our hallowed team the Saskatchewan Roughriders. But watching the NFL is always a hard reminder of how much better things could be.
Damnit, we try though. Nothing shows how much we try like our attempts at putting on entertaining halftime performances. In order to prove the CFL's can-do attitude beats the NFL money machine, we put together a historical list of the best Grey Cup halftime performances. If Lady Gaga thinks we're impressed with a $10 million production, she obviously underestimates the power of the Canadian entertainment industry!
Critically-acclaimed artists Nickelback showed the world the true meaning of "critically-acclaimed" and "artists" with their 2011 Grey Cup performance. Audiences were mesmerized by a spectacular pyrotechnic show, courtesy of Canada's entire military budget. The 99th Grey Cup between the Winnipeg Sandpapers and the BC Cornhusks in Vancouver still stands as one of the most historically important Canadian moments—all thanks to the universally loved Chad Kroeger.
Not to brag (totally to brag), but I was at the Regina-hosted Grey Cup in person. During an especially desperate moment, I drunkenly begged Premier Brad Wall for a job at a pre-game party. I actually did that, and I'm still waiting for a call back. Then I watched my home team win the Grey Chalice, which was magical and our city finally had more to talk about than when farmer Mcginty found that old tire in his field. I'm sure you all remember that. Also, Hedley was at the Grey Cup too I think. I actually don't recall, but it was probably incredible.
Black Eyed Peas
Back in Vancouver again, the province best known for good weed, unmanageable property prices and the time the Black Eyed Peas played halftime at the Grey Cup. This really had it all: will.i.am said some almost-intellegible words and Fergie did "My Humps." Canadians everywhere frantically explained the meaning of "My Humps" to concerned grandmothers who don't know how to change the channel from CBC.
"Five, four, three, two, OneRepublic!" is a countdown traditionally used to launch someone into a mid-life crisis. Last year in Toronto, the Calgary Stampeders took on the Ottawa OneRepublics, putting on an exhilarating list of reasons to succumb to alcohol poisoning. The final score was -5 to "Let's Hurt Tonight." Leader singer Ryan Tedder was reportedly awarded the Grey Cup that year for his tambourine work.
2012 marked the 100th Grey Cup, so to celebrate we booked Justin Bieber. The Toronto audience mostly booed during the performance because our then Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, had a strict booing-only policy. Bieber was still in his adorable phase, and Canadians were quick to suck any and all joy from the moment in an effort to feel any emotion.
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