Super Bowl Predictions

Malitz and I already predicted Springsteen's half-time set, back in September.

He liked this foursome:

1. "Rosalita"
Perfect upbeat opener, those few thousand superfluous dancers sure to be on the field can easily choreograph something to this.

2. "Glory Days"
It's the Yankees victory song (retired until 2009, suckers!), so it's already sports/stadium tested and approved.

3. "The Rising"
There's nothing more American than the Super Bowl, and this has become the most beloved "yeah, America!" song of recent years.

4. "Born to Run"
Even in the new pass-happy NFL, you still need a good ground game to win it all.

I liked this quartet:

1. "Badlands"
An old warhorse, this is an appropriate theme for these tough times; the soaring sound and marching beat would get the set started on a high note.

2. "Thunder Road"
This might have been a better pick back when Ron Dayne was a rookie, doing the "Thunder and Lightning" thing with Tiki Barber. But still: It is perhaps Springsteen's greatest song (the list of qualified candidates is staggeringly long), and it's just terrific live.

3. "No Surrender"
Everybody loves a good underdog anthem - especially a lifelong San Francisco 49ers fan circa 2008 2009. "I'm ready to grow young again." Me, too, Bruce. Me. Too.

4. "Born to Run"
No matter how many times you hear this one, it tends to sound explosive and electrifying in concert. It's one of the most galvanizing songs in the Springsteen catalogue, because, really, we're all dreamers and restless romantics, aren't we?

I've since learned -- via a poster who found a YouTube video that features audio of a Bruce and the ESB rehearsal in Tampa -- the identity of one of the songs that's likely to be included in the set. (SPOILER ALERT! Click here for the video if you must.)

There's been plenty of speculation on Backstreets and elsewhere about some of the other entries in the set, and a friend of a colleague who has been around for rehearsals says that three of the songs "are definitely not surprises" while the fourth was a song "that none of my friends had come close to guessing."

The spy wouldn't go into any more detail. Probably still mad about my "Working on a Dream" review.

Of course, there's always a chance that the set list that's being drawn up now will be changed, anyway.

This is from a Nils Lofgren interview with Backstreets:

Q: So given the nature of football and the way the game is played, would it be appropriate for Bruce to call an audible when you guys are at the "line of scrimmage?"

A: My opinion would be yes -- but that's Bruce's call. Obviously after 12 minutes you're gonna get cut off and go to a commercial. Would it be appropriate? Well, sure -- but only if Bruce wanted to do it. If he just said, "We're gonna do these four songs together" and then after the second song it's like, "Man, this third one's not feeling right" and he just gave us a hand signal that we follow or vamp on a chord while he runs around and shouts at all of us or makes sure we read his lips and counts it off, then, yeah, of course. It would be appropriate, and there's no one better to do it than Bruce and the E Street Band -- not that I'm predicting it! [laughs]

My other prediction, by the way: Steelers 27, Cardinals 16.

Malitz also likes Pittsburgh: Steelers 34, Cardinals 17.

Check out the predictions of some of our TWP colleagues (plus Kornheiser) here. Everybody seems to like the Steelers.

Most interesting prediction? Frank "Bananas" Ahrens of The Ticker: "Both cities lose, economically."

By J. Freedom du Lac |  January 28, 2009; 4:38 PM ET Set Lists , Sports , Springsteen
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While I love Rosie (it's the main ringtone on my cell), odds are REALLY good that Bruce isn't playing it... with a 12-minute time limit, if he plays Rosie, it's that and Born to Run and even that's cutting it close!

Posted by: saragood | January 28, 2009 6:44 PM

We need Massage of Peace Now. We need Change.., real Change . We need The Fearless with Please song written by Marco Pizzorno..." If We Change our Minds , We can Change Our Life": This is the only Hope.

Posted by: beatles1 | January 29, 2009 6:11 AM

Hey David and JFree, keep a listen out during the Super Bowl (I'm not sure exactly when, but it will be there) for The Kin's song Nowhere to Nowhere. They're a couple of Australian brothers that have played the area before and been on Elliot in the Morning once or twice.

Posted by: franchiseinATL | January 29, 2009 8:32 AM

He will play a medley including Born in the USA, a new song, The Rising and Born to Run in that order. Maybe one more song. How can there be any disagreement on this. It's the frikkin Super Bowl. What else is he going to play?

Posted by: brooksie78 | January 29, 2009 12:52 PM

He will play "American Land". Be sure to recognize me in the blog Monday after he plays American Land on Sunday.

Posted by: DC20004 | January 30, 2009 8:08 PM

The four: Glory Days, My Lucky Day, American Land and Born to Run. The big questions is: Is the NFL mandating four songs in the 12-minute period?

Posted by: tnman45_2000 | January 31, 2009 5:39 AM

My guesses for Bruce's four songs are:
1. Born to Run
2. I'm On Fire
3. My Lucky Day
4. Born in the USA

Nothing's better in concert than Born to Run. I'm On Fire is fiery and short, to fit the time schedule. My Lucky Day fits the bill for having one of the new songs in the mix. And Born in the USA fits the current patriotic fever. People keep saying Glory Days. Why? It's about baseball. Duh! And Rosalita is reaching too far back into the archives - plus it's too long.

Posted by: IslandJan | February 1, 2009 1:00 PM

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