Last weekend, I flew home from the Indianapolis International Airport. After narrowly passing my body scan, (fun fact: bling on your jeans pockets sets off the security warnings), I was accosted on every side by Super Bowl XLVI kiosks. It’s safe to say that Indianapolis was very excited for last weekend’s festivities.

For 45 years, halftime shows have been as much a part of the Super Bowl experience as popcorn, wings, beer and increasingly clever commercials. That’s not to say these halftime spectacles have always been spectacular, however. In fact, Twin Cities, I’m afraid it’s time for a moment of shame in our history.

Twenty years ago, in the Metrodome, Minneapolis put on an unbelievable halftime show. It was entitled “Winter Magic,” and yes, it was as bad as the title sounds. If you have 15 minutes of your life to waste, you can watch this show in two parts. I endured 2 minutes and 34 seconds.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjChnNS4JZI[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG5H0es6mY0[/youtube]

If you prefer to save the time, I’ll recap it for you here. People run all over the field in loose formations, sometimes with fabric, always singing and dancing like a bad version of “Singin’ in the Rain.” Oh, and Gloria Estefan sings a little. There, I’ve spared you the pain; you’re welcome.

Since that time, the world has been mesmerized by truly outstanding performances such as XXVII’s Michael Jackson and XXXVI’s U2 tribute to 9/11. There have been other memorable performances, not necessarily due to the quality, which would be cliché to mention here. You know to what I refer.

53-year-old Madonna was the featured star in yesterday’s Super Bowl XLVI. She claimed she was nervous about the gig, and who can blame her? With an average 100,000,000 people watching and a history of peak and valley reviews, who’s to say what fans will appreciate?

It may be of interest that the NFL does not pay halftime performers, though it covers expenses for the show. The benefit to the artists comes in the form of increased sales and, um, exposure. Another fun fact is that the performance group has seven minutes to set up, twelve minutes to perform, and eight minutes to tear down. There’s a lot riding on those twelve minutes.

So what did you think of Madonna’s performance? Anything close to the spectacle of “Winter Magic”?Share your favorite halftime memories in the comments below!

Thanks for Bring Me The News for finding these classic Metrodome halftime shows.