Watch Bruce Springsteen Full Superbowl Halftime Show

In 2009, when Bruce Springsteen performed at Ray Jay, attendees not only got to see him but also played flag football for free. Super Bowl XLIII took place on February 1 that year, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, and included a halftime performance by Springsteen and the E Street Band.

“At the time, it was the most-watched Super Bowl in history,” Max Weinberg, E Street Band’s drummer explained. “So you definitely don’t want to drop your popcorn, and fortunately, we didn’t. It was kind of like, you’re thrown out there, and you’re making a little prayer — Don’t let me screw this up — and it came off great.”

The NFL had been begging Springsteen to play halftime for years, but he had always considered it “kind of a novelty,” as he told reporters. Yet, he believed that they were at their most creative and were performing their finest concerts ever when they released the albums Magic and Working on a Dream. Finally, the halftime show’s producers convinced him that the E Street Band’s famed live act could be condensed into 12 minutes of television time.

Attracting the Boss to perform at halftime was in part a publicity stunt, as his latest album, Working on a Dream, had just been released five days before the big game. When asked about the next projects, he joked: “We have a new album coming out. We have our mercenary reasons, of course.”

He told a journalist backstage afterward that he wanted to just capture everyone’s attention, and so he did it. And according to NFL regulations, Springsteen would not be compensated, but the NFL would cover all production costs.

Watch it here.

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