Sunday, September 19, 2010

UFL Trying Too Hard; Who Is Nelly and Why is he at a Nighthawks game?

KOZN's Matt Schick reports tonight that the UFL is going to announce that R&B/Rap artist Nelly will be the halftime performer at Friday nights Nighthawks season opener against Hartford.  I don't follow R&B/Rap music at all, and frankly, don't care to.  It's not my cup of tea.  I tried to sit through Kanye West (pre-Taylor Swift) as the opening act for U2 a few years back; that's an hour of my life I won't ever get back. (U2, on the other hand, was absolutely epic that night and worth every penny and then some.)

Doing a little Google research on Nelly indicates that he's apparently a big deal to some people; he ranks #3 on Billboard's top artists of this decade.  Of course, any list that has Nickelback and Britney Spears ranked in the same top ten has dubious value to me.  Musical taste aside, I do have one question about this choice:


Schick and fellow KOZN broadcaster Mike'l Severe indicate that this game is close to a sellout. People aren't going to this game for the halftime show.  People want to see football in Omaha, not a hip hop halftime show. I have my tickets, and I'm planning to bring my kids.  Except now I have to deal with a halftime show by an artist who's albums are blazen with "Parental Advisory-Explicit Content" warning labels.

If Nelly is as big of an artist as he seems to be, he's not coming to Omaha for cheap. Again, I've got my tickets, so it's not like I'm paying extra for it. But it's got to hurt the long-term viability of a league that lost an average of $2.3 million per game last season.  And if the game is just about sold out, Nelly isn't going to increase ticket sales either.

I guess there is a message that this suggests that the UFL is somehow "big time"...but unless the UFL is going to sign up name artists for every game, I don't see the point.  Most people who bought tickets to this game bought them without any expectation of a "big time" artist to appear.  It's simply not necessary.  Put the time and resources into the actual game atmosphere.  Some people will enjoy Nelly, but others won't.  Even worse, if Nelly decides to drop an f-bomb in front of my kids, it could be the last time I attend a Nighthawks game.

Up to now, the Omaha Nighthawks have seemingly done everything right in promoting the team.  This move seems to have more downside than upside.  The Nighthawks have the potential to be big...but are they going to screw it up anyway?


Anonymous said...

dude chill out. it's just a pop artist. make a trip to the concession stand at halftime or something.

Adam F. said...

I think Don Igo has done a decent job getting this team off the ground (remember, he ran the Beef during their hey-day in the late-90's, early-00's)...however, I don't think the league has the financial resources to make it over the long haul. Tickets are too cheap and salaries are too expensive.

After the first game or 2, the novelty will wear off.

Count Istvan said...

I'll be at the game with my IPOD!

Anonymous said...

At least it is during halftime and not in the parking lot before the game with other activities. Your chances of getting hit by a wayward bullet would be about 43% if it was in the parking lot. Plus, would you put your kids, wife, friends at risk by hanging out at a free rap concert in the Rosenblatt parking lot?

The Nighthawks have clearly missed their mark here. No rap acts needed at halftime of the opening game.

Anonymous said...

I'm in my 30s and I've heard plenty of Nelly songs and even have a couple on my iPod. He has done plenty of main stream songs and has even been in some regular movies (the remake of the Longest Yard). He'll be fine, even if you can't understand some of the rap jargon. I'd be shocked if he didn't know it was a family event and dropped an F-bomb. I'm not sure why they are spending big money (although he hasn't had a hit in a looong time and is trying to bring back his career so it might not have cost THAT much). I'm guessing if you have a great time at your first event, it'll spread more buzz and more people will want to fill the place for the next few games.

Anonymous said...

Its a treat for the fans on opening night. I'm sure Nelly will keep it clean and family-friendly at the request of the team. Enjoy the game and Go Nighthawks!

Tyler said...

Nelly has won Grammy's. What a waste of a blog. I think it's pretty cool they landed him. It has sure created a significant buzz around Omaha, one of the main reasons Nelly was booked. Take a chill pill and write about something worth our time.