The Difference Between Football and Music

31 Jan 2002
U2 spoke to the press ahead of Sunday's Half Time Performance at the Super Bowl in New Orleans.

As if the collision of Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl weren't enough to shake up the city of New Orleans, the world's greatest rock and roll band hit town this afternoon, reports

U2 held court at the Super Bowl XXXVI media center Wednesday afternoon to meet the press and talk about their highly anticipated performance at the E*Trade Super Bowl XXXVI Halftime Show.

'It's a strange thing,' Bono said about the difference between football and music. 'If you're in a rock band and you play these venues, every night you win. It's an odd thing to go into a crowd at the Super Bowl and realize that half of the crowd is going to go home in tears.

'And I rather like it.'

Fans might not think that a rock band from Ireland knows much about American football, but the guys gave it their best shot -- even bringing up New England's Tom Brady-Drew Bledsoe quarterback controversy.

'We will not be fielding any questions on that issue today,' said the Edge with a wry smile. 'It's up to Coach Belichick what he wants to do. However, it does have to be said, Drew Bledsoe has a superior pass. Brady's sore ankle is a bit of a problem. I've had a sore ankle myself, and it lasted a good deal longer than one week.'

The fact that U2 is from Ireland and there is a significant Irish population in Boston would lead some to believe the band is pulling for the Patriots.

'Well, it sounds easy,' Bono said. 'But as you know, or maybe you don't know, the Edge used to babysit for Kurt Warner.'

Joking aside, Bono did say that an Irish band being able to perform at the Super Bowl -- perhaps the most American of events -- was 'overwhelming.'

And while the band might not really know the intricacies of NFL football, they look forward to using this event as a springboard to follow the sport more closely.

'This is a learning curve for us,' said Bono. 'It's the beginning of a great adventure.'

The E*Trade Super Bowl Halftime Show will be an adventure in itself, one that was in the works long before U2 arrived in town. There have been 3,500 volunteers in the New Orleans area working on the show. After the first half of Super Bowl XXXVI is over, the band's giant heart-shaped stage has to be put together in just six minutes. After U2's three-song performance, the crew has another six minutes to take everything apart.

"It's going to be a spectacle, both live and on television," said show producer Dennis Despie.
More at

Incidentally the reporter from the Detroit News seemed to enjoy the press conference more than most - check here

And if you want to watch video of U2 at the Super Bowl press conference, check this link and look under Super Bowl entertainment: Pre-Game, Half Time


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