Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

07 Feb 2007

Prince's Halftime Imagery Questioned

Oh come on.

NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello: " "We respect other opinions, but it takes quite a leap of the imagination to make a controversy of his performance...It's a guitar."

Would Greg Aiello lie to you? It was a guitar! Prince's penis is not three feet long and curled into the shape of his symbol. End of discussion.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 07 Feb 2007

47 comments, Last at 09 Feb 2007, 6:35pm by DavidH


by the K (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 8:58pm

But I thought for sure that was originally where he got the symbol. He had a very strange looking, if generously sized, penis?

by Marv (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 9:06pm

Rock guitar as phallic symbol? Implied sexuality in popular music? Gasp! How will our children ever recover?

by underthebus (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 9:08pm

Prince absolutely tore that Foo Fighter's song apart. Best Super Bowl Halftime ever!

by Arbman (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 9:33pm

ive totally been looking for an article like this!! though i have to admit, i wasnt offended, i just thought it was hilarious. waaaaay dirtier than janet jackson (this was intentional in my mind, not an accident like the malfunction) yet America doesnt care. what a country!

by Theo, Netherlands (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 9:37pm


Some... people... are... crazy.

by SJM (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 9:41pm

OK, two things:

First off, the cover of the Foo Fighters song was not good, but maybe that's because I don't like the song. The rest of the people watching with me all thought it was a bad choice.

Second, Prince was obviously referencing Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

by Jason Mulgrew aka The Mul Dawg (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 9:44pm

I likey.

by Spoilt Victorian Child (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 9:47pm

As a big Prince fan, I can't imagine it was unintentional.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 9:50pm

That was pretty funny, in a sophomoric way, which is often pretty good. Who knew Prince was a fan of Austin Powers movies?

by Show (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 10:18pm

Raise your hand if you ever thought you'd see talk of Prince's penis on FO.

by underthebus (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 10:50pm

#5 I don't know, it's some pretty freaking fantastic guitar work by Prince and a seamless move from Watchtower to Best. C'mon Hendrix to Foo Fighters? It's Prince! He can do whatever he wants.

Song linked.

by Harris (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 11:00pm

To quote the Joker, "This town needs an enema."

by SJM (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 11:23pm


Okay, after listening again, Watchtower was great and the transition was great, but Best just seemed odd. I think the quality of that link was a lot better than the broadcast, though.

by cd6 (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 11:29pm

A picture of what they're talking about is linked in my name.

I must say, that this issue is truely the most important thing we must discuss in America today. The war and poverty and AIDS can wait until there's justice for the children who had to see Prince's shadow guitar penis

by Basilicus (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 11:40pm

"Prince’s penis is not three feet long and curled into the shape of his symbol."

Has anybody checked on this? He is Prince.

by Shaun (not verified) :: Wed, 02/07/2007 - 11:41pm

As soon as he whipped that guitar out I saw it. I mean that thing looks like a big purple phallus with tickler attachment.

by michael (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 12:06am

Prince has used that guitar for years; the symbol is a combination of the symbols for male and female. Back in the early '80s Prince got unholy amounts of tail by playing off his rather androgynous image (he still could get unholy amounts of tail ((enough to make Rex Grossman weep)) but he's claims to be reformed since his marriage) and he's not exactly butch, but he's a far different critter than he was in say '70-82.

by michael (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 12:07am

er, that should read 79-82.

by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 12:35am

Sometimes a guitar is just a guitar.

I have to say I missed this during the original broadcast, but running around trying to bathe my recalcitrant 3 year old daughter during halftime doesn't exactly lend itself to close TV viewing.

by Erasmus (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 12:36am

I guess the Foo Fighters cover, was because the Foo Fighters cover a Prince song (Darling Nikki)...

by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 1:28am

As someone who, like Prince, is blessed with dual phalli, one of which is three feet long and curled, the other of which is four feet long with an arrowhead shaped end, I can only applaud that the NFL and the television networks are finally providing recognition to we Multipenisoid-Americans.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 4:35am

19 Philly CWC HAH! A man in my same canoe! I was changing the 2 year-old's diapers when the 6 year-old came in with the news: "Colts fumbled and Bears recovered." Okay, I grumbled.... Seconds later, still diapering, I hear screams of joy. "The Colts got it right back."

They can be a pain when young, but useful as they get older.

As far as halftime goes, tube was off. Kids had to have dinner sometime. Too young to survive on chips and dip for a whole day. Might have been bathtime too, come to think of it, since three of them spent the first half digging in the mud.

by Bill Barnwell :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 6:11am

Might have been bathtime too, come to think of it, since three of them spent the first half digging in the mud.

Three of your kids are Rex Grossman?

by eagletom (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 6:32am

You know, stuff like this is why some of people outside of your country use the phrase 'stupid americans' a lot. I'm truly sorry for the reasonable rest of you...

by mb (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 7:40am

Erasmus already mentioned it, but the Foo Fighters song was in response to them covering "Darling Nikki" and none to to well as is their wont as a terrible band feeding off Nirvana posthumously. Prince was unhappy with the cover for whatever reason so he just destroyed one of their songs on national TV. Reason #486 why Prince is a freaking genius. The guitar/penis thing is especially hilarious since he became a Jehovah's Witness a few years ago (in accordance with is mom's dying wishes) and because I could make that claim about any male rock/pop musician with a guitar at anytime with or without a sheet. Conservative talk radio pundits once again weighing in with entertaining insanity.

by kibbles (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 10:03am

Re #11: #5 I don’t know, it’s some pretty freaking fantastic guitar work by Prince and a seamless move from Watchtower to Best. C’mon Hendrix to Foo Fighters? It’s Prince! He can do whatever he wants.

I don't really recall that Hendrix-to-Foo part. I recall the Dylan-to-Foo part, however, and I definitely enjoyed that.

by Kevo (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 10:37am

25: I almost always support the songwriter, but when Dylan himself embraces the cover as the definitive version, it belongs to Hendrix.

by White Rose Duelist (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 11:01am

eagletom - A lot of people in the country use it too.

I knew this would happen the minute I saw it. Everyone at the party I hosted got the imagery instantly, but no one was offended.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 11:36am

I completely missed this during halftime. I was too busy grilling a couple Filipino-style marinated london broils (which BTW, were fantastic; click my name). But I have to say that the picture cd6 posted is fantastic. That is absolutely intentional, and just as absolutely hilarious.

And Arbman, I find it hard to believe that anyone would think that the Janet Jackson this wasn't just as intentional.

by DJAnyReason (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 11:37am

Re: 26

I saw Dylan close his encore with Watchtower in Fairfax last November. Regardless of what Dylan might say, given how much he brings the awesome when playing it, it is once again 100% Dylan's song.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 11:39am

Wow, I'm either in a really good mood and just find everything fantastic, or I'm a douchebag that desperately needs a thesaurus. I'll let you decide.

by dbt (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 12:30pm

Given the guitar sound he used, he was obviously covering Hendrix covering Dylan.

Secondly, he used to tour with a guitar like that except it also had a squirtgun built into the end. It's definately phallic.

Thirdly, I was watching the SB with a friend of mine who shushed us all when prince came out. We all thought it was fantastic.

by John (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 12:51pm

Like has been said before, he's used it for years and years and his symbol is a combination of the male and female symbol so of course the freaking thing is phallic. Can't people just enjoy one of the best halftime shows in recent memory? Do people remember Ja-Rule and Ashanti at the (2004?) NFC championship game? Now THAT was bad. Even is you're a Ja-Rule / Ashanti fan, it was horribly, horribly performed.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 1:01pm

Re: 33

I don't remember if it was 2004 or 2003, but either way I'm absolutely positive that abomination took place in Philadelphia just so they could get more footage of Philly fans booing the crap outta something.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 1:18pm

And speaking of Philly, since I have absolutely nowhere else to put this, I'll just throw it out here.

This morning I was listening to Steve Czaban. He was playing some stupid audio of Howard Eskin talking to TO. But the funny part was when Czaban said that when Eskin wears his fur coats he looks like a the Burger King hand puppet.


by underthebus (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 3:15pm

#25 last thing on this, if you think about it Prince doing a snippet of Watchtower before Best of You was a big F-YOU to the Foos. He was still upset that the Foos covered "Darling Nikki" and the order of his performance puts it all into context.

Watchtower was originally a Dylan song, but when it was covered by Hendrix, that became the definitive version. By starting with that particular song and moving to Best of You, Prince is saying now my version of your song (the song they are best known for and garnered the most success with) will now be the definitive version. Essentially pulling a Hendrix on the Foo Fighters. Plus he did it on the biggest stage possible.

Screw you Foo Fighters! I'm Prince!

Or maybe I'm just hungover.

by NF (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 3:15pm

I skipped the halftime show, does anyone know where on the internet I could watch it? I heard the start fo the first song and thought, I'm not going to enjoy this, so I left the tv to get something to eat, but now I keep on hearing that it was a great halftime show.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 3:25pm

I guess I'm the only one here who likes the Foo Fighters? :-(

by Peter Libero (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 3:55pm

Well I kinda like them Wanker.

"Best of You" is also not really the song they're best known for, though it's moderately the most popular (one ranking spot above 2nd-highest rated). They had four platinum albums before "In Your Honor" and a top 20 hit in 1999 ("Learn to Fly"). The band's been popular since 1995, I don't think Prince is going to destroy their popularity or whatever.

by Nathan (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 5:08pm

I've never liked Prince, but the half time show kicked ass.

by TomC (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 5:15pm

I agree with #28 and the rest of his party: There's no way you could see that shadow and not think "Oh, there's Prince's demonic guitar phallus." And that's no accident either --- Prince is damned intelligent, and he's a control freak about his shows, so if you see or hear something, you were meant to see or hear it.

Personally, I thought it was a nice jab at the hysterical post-wardrobe-malfunction mentality.

by joel in providence (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 5:48pm

where the fuck am i, deadspin?

in all seriousness, despite prince's stage persona, the man has ALWAYS been an absolute guitar god. a total virtuoso, but it gets overshadowed by his other antics/assless chaps.

by giving him the business (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 6:13pm

RE:36 underthejeromebettis,

The Foo recorded Darling Nikki and released it as a B-side for the single "Have It All". If Prince had any real objections to the cover, he would have denied them permission to release it. Perhaps he wasn't a huge fan of it, but not to the point of turning down his share of the royalties.
As far as the entertainment value, one of the best halftime performance ever. Throw in the all-too-appropriate precipitation and I think it deserves halftime HOF consideration. I thought for sure the NFL would trot out yet another has-been/never-will-be combo like Aerosmith and some boy band. What became of Ja Rule anyway?

by eagletom (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 6:49pm

re: 41. I guess I'm just slow on the uptake; I just thought 'ooh, doesn't he look tall!'
That Foo Fighters cover was pretty awesome, too.

Oh, and just in case anyone took offence at all, I know a fair few clever Americans who delight in pointing fun at the dumb ones. I understand about America's problem with the stupid people shouting louder...

by Erasmus (not verified) :: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 7:58pm

I like the Foo Fighters as well....but that Prince cover was awesome...

by Kami (not verified) :: Fri, 02/09/2007 - 5:19am

What I want to know is why nobody is talking about the obvious vaginal imagery in the Bears' and Colts' logos! They might as well have been designed by Georgia O'Keefe!
It's disgusting and offensive and it's gone on far too long.

by DavidH (not verified) :: Fri, 02/09/2007 - 6:35pm

I just gotta say, this was already one of my favorite FO threads, and Kami's comment is icing on the cake.

Thick, creamy, white icing.