FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — It generally takes a lot to get a group of reporters to cheer for anything, but The Who’s Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend accomplished just that Thursday.
Reporters turned spectators as the two Rock and Roll Hall of Famers treated everyone to a brief acoustic performance to kick off their Bridgestone Halftime Show news conference.
After a brief introduction by NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, Daltrey and Townshend started off with a mellow version of “Behind Blue Eyes.” Their smooth transition into “Pinball Wizard” received a nice cheer from the crowd, which, to be fair, was probably less media than it was fans — everyone’s camera phones were firing.
Afterward, Daltrey and Townshend briefly answered a few questions, including one about the Colts’ tradition of running on to the field to The Who’s music before every home game and whether that had an effect on the band’s rooting interest in the Super Bowl.
“That’s an incredible honor for them to do that,” said Daltrey, who admitted that he actually has never been to an American football game before. “All I care about is that the best team wins and that it’s an interesting game. That you get a good one and not a boring one. But if I had to pick, I’d say that New Orleans is due a little bit of luck, so I’m going with the Saints.”
“In that case, I’d go for the Colts,” Townshend replied.
Daltrey also made a crack at how little time they will be performing relative to the length of the game.
“We’re going to be playing for about 12 minutes at halftime,” he said. “But I’ve heard if you take out the commercials, there’s about 11 minutes of playing.”
“We’re going to be playing longer than the players,” Townshend added.
Before exiting, Daltrey and Townshend left everyone with one last song, “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”
After my first time seeing the band perform live, I’ll say this: It was the best news conference I’ve ever attended.
— Aron Angel