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In general, I've never been a big music fan. In specific, I've never really cared for Prince, who died yesterday at 57. However, I do want to go on record as saying that I think Prince might have been one of the best performers in the history of pop music.

I saw him in concert only once. That once was nine years ago, at the halftime performance of Superbowl XLI on February 5, 2007. In addition to being Peyton Manning's first championship, it was also the first Super Bowl played in the rain.

Conditions were miserable. There was no warmth in Miami that evening. The rain was cold and steady, penetrating the ponchos that most of the crowd were wearing. The wind cut straight to the bone. Honestly, it was the least comfortable I'd ever been in a football stadium. I suspect that most of the nearly 75,000 people in attendance shared my opinion.

Of course, it didn't help that there wasn't much entertainment to take our attention away from the foul weather. Cirque Du Soleil was a terrible pregame act, bringing out some acrobats to do whatever acrobats do. Two note to future programmers: 1) it's impossible to see what a single acrobat is doing on the 20 yard line, and 2) football fans don't care about acrobats.

The game, when we got to it, wasn't much better. The Chicago Bears — and especially their hapless quarterback, Rex Grossman — were terribly outclassed by Manning's Indianapolis Colts. The Bears took an early lead, but then ran out of gas. Though it took a while for the score board to catch up, the game was a rout.

Honestly, by halftime, I was considering walking out of the stadium and calling it a night. When the public address announcer asked the fans to reach under their seats and light the small LED flashlights we were given, I said no. Enough was enough. Then Prince came to my rescue.

They assembled the stage at midfield and poof! Prince appeared in a cloud of smoke with his electric guitar — in the rain! He proceeded to put on one hell of an invigorating performance. He demanded that we clap, and we clapped. He told us to sing along, and we sang along. He closed, fittingly, with Purple Rain, and it rained. It was exactly what we needed to hear. It turned a disasterous outing into a night to remember.

So, while I've never owned a Prince album or seen Graffiti Bridge, I do recognize that the world lost someone special yesterday. Thanks, Prince.

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To be continued...


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