The Petty Archives

What A Heartbreaker
The Tampa Tribune - February 1, 2008

PHOENIX - Tom Petty didn't sing a single note. His Heartbreakers didn't strike a single chord. Not so much as a rim shot was heard Thursday from the band that will perform during the halftime show at this year's Super Bowl.

What a letdown.

Granted, Prince set the bar extremely high last year, performing for close to 15 minutes. But even Bono got up and threw "an American football" around a little bit at U2's new conference.

Petty and the Heartbreakers just sat behind a table and answered some questions. They didn't even do that very well, refusing to predict a winner or pick a favorite for the game.

Petty, a Gainesville native, did give a shout out to the University of Florida, saying that on a college level the Gators are the team he pulls for. He also reminisced for about three seconds about going to UF's homecoming as a kid.

Petty didn't offer up much regarding the set his band will play, either. All he said was that the band has tried to put together the best 12-minute show possible and that they hope it "takes you somewhere."

Must be some kind of theme. Alicia Keys, who will provide the pregame entertainment for Sunday's showcase, said her set is going to "take you by the throat and make you watch me."

The New York native also acknowledged she knew nothing about football, but she still predicted a Giants victory. So did Jordin Sparks, the reigning "American Idol" champion who will sing the national anthem.

Sparks also provided the best line of the news conference. Referring to her father Phillippi, who spent nine years playing in the NFL but never played in a Super Bowl, she said, "At least one of us made it to a Super Bowl."