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Goodell on Super Bowl halftime show: ‘It’s a nerve-wracking moment’

The most pressure-packed 12 minutes in sports might not be in the competitive vein.

It’s the Super Bowl halftime show.

“It’s become such a big part of the event, people engage, people join the broadcast just for the halftime show,” Goodell said Monday morning during a brunch event hosted by the Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee at Caesars Forum.

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Goodell referred to Bruce Springsteen’s comments, from the opening of his autobiography, “Born To Run.”

“Bruce Springsteen put this in his book, and has spoken about it frequently, that it was the most nervous he has been before a performance,” Goodell said. “Which is saying a lot. He’s done a lot of performances. That’s because he had to come in, hit it in 12 minutes, and get off the stage. It’s a nerve-wracking moment for the performers.”

The commissioner also qualified, to chuckles,”I don’t know entertainment. This is not my thing.”

That’s why the league enlisted Jay-Z’s Roc Nation in 2019 to produce the show. Usher is this year’s halftime star. Expect collaborations in that frenetic 12 minutes, given Usher’s many creative partnerships.

Goodell was interviewed on stage by Raiders President Sandra Douglass Morgan during Monday’s event. Douglass Morgan asked about Usher, who has just completed his “My Way” residency series at Dolby Live.

Goodell, referring to the NFL’s immersion into the entertainment culture, responded, “You can see how this has impacted this season. Taylor Swift has added a little bit different twist to the season. It’s part of the entertainment package. It’s all part of the show.”

The crowd of about 300 laughed at the inevitable Swift reference.

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Goodell has some info on the halftime show. His wife, Jane Skinner Goodell, is developing a yet-to-be-announced, behind-the-scenes special about show preparations.

Skinner Goodell is a former daytime anchor with Fox News, co-hosting “Happening Now” with Jon Scott until retiring in 2010. She still contributes interview segments to NFL.com.

“My wife was out here, last week, doing an inside story,” Goodell said. “So I have a little bit of access, which I can’t share … But it’ll be worth every second.”

Cool Hang Alert

Veteran Vegas showman Jimmy Hopper plays The Composers Room at Historic Commercial Center at 7 p.m. Friday, and again Dec. 20. Hopper’s “Strictly BEN” is a tribute to Billy Joel, Elton John and Neil Diamond. Hit thecomposersroom.com for intel.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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