Ten Years Ago, Prince Bathed the Super Bowl in Purple Rain

It was a nationwide baptism, and the halftime show was never the same.

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Feb 3 2017, 4:03pm

If anything is a testament to the sad impermanence of genius, it's the 2007 Super Bowl. That year's game between the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts turned out to be a bit of a dud, marred by torrents of South Florida rain and sloppy, subpar performances by both teams. What few remember is that the unstoppable force that was the Colts' offense manhandled the immovable object that was the Bears defense, and Peyton Manning won his very first Super Bowl, finally, after years of playoff heartbreak.

Little of this, of course, would make it into a history textbook, or even an NFL anthology. That's because, in 2007, the Super Bowl was all about Prince.

I was a fanatical, 11-year old Baltimore Ravens fan. My dad had scored nosebleeds to the big game, in which I had no vested interest, since the Colts had beaten the Ravens three weeks earlier. I unceremoniously burned my Peyton Manning jersey in the fireplace and decided to root for the Bears. It behooves me, now, to admit I had no sense of the magnitude of such an occasion, no understanding of Prince's legend, and little notion of the privilege it was to see him, or a Super Bowl game, live. I was just psyched to be there, bathing in the purple rain.

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