The first time Steven directed me to this clip, I had the distinct impression that Prince was the Barry Bonds of popular music. Bonds has more haters, surely. But the diffidence with which they interact with their colleagues and the self-absorbed virtuosity that stamps their performances makes them seem strikingly similar.
Of course, we aren't supposed to think about professional sports and popular music together. The former is held to a standard of purity that, were it applied to the culture industry, would have resulted in most of the last century's greatest musicians receiving a lifetime ban. The most interesting thing about the Super Bowl these days is that it demonstrates how arbitrary the line between sports and entertainment really is. People watch for the spectacle more than the game. What that gets me thinking, however, to follow through on my earlier analogy, is that we might do well to stop and consider the difference between a Barry Bonds home run from the early 2000s and a Prince guitar solo.