City Desk

Bruce Springsteen Doesn’t Do Sports Real Well, But Nils Lofgren Does

I'm awed by the apathy toward this weekend's Steelers–Cardinals matchup. What's its Roman numeral, Super Bowl ZZZ?

Nobody around here cares. I got invited to two parties on Sunday. Neither gathering has anything to do with the game.

The halftime attraction, Bruce Springsteen, has gotten a lot more attention than any game-related story line.

At his press conference yesterday in Tampa, Springsteen admitted he knows nothing about football.

He's never written a great sports tune—"Glory Days" is Springsteen's jockiest song, about an aging baseball player who once had a good "speedball"; before the tune's 1984 release, "speedball" was what killed John Belushi, not a synonym for fastball.

But Springsteen's bandmate, Nils Lofgren, wrote the greatest sports tune in the history of sports tunes: "Bullets Fever," which soundtracked the Washington Bullets glorious run to an NBA championship in 1978. You couldn't turn on a radio around here during the playoffs that year without hearing it. And singing along.

No set list for the halftime show has yet been announced. Alas, we know "Bullets Fever" won't be on it.

So listen to Lofgren's final version. And, if you're of a certain age and from these parts, sing along.

If I'm watching during intermission of Super Bowl ZZZ, it'll only be to find out if Springsteen brought that foreign guitar to America's Big Game.

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