t’s that time of year again folks, when the most iconic event in American sporting culture takes place. That’s right, we’re heading towards the Super Bowl game, the showpiece championship grand finale of the NFL football season, when organizers aim to pull out all the stops in the name of entertainment.

This time around, the Philadelphia Eagles will take on the Kansas City Chiefs, with both teams battling to lift the glittering Vince Lombardi Trophy. But aside from the action taking place on the field of play, and the usual patriotic stuff before the game begins, the traditional halftime show has become the stuff of legends. That’s because it usually features the most iconic and talented (supposedly) music icons.

Back in October last year, “Lift Me Up” was the first solo release in almost seven years by Rihanna, who has the honor of being the headline act at the halftime show this year. Clearly excited about this gig, there’s even a teaser trailer ahead of the big show. For her sake if nothing else, hopefully everything will go smoothly. But even if it doesn’t, well, she could always add to this list of catastrophic fails.

Two great fails for the price of one

Back in February 2004 at Super Bowl XXXVIII, when the New England Patriots narrowly defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, it wasn’t just the game that grabbed media headlines. On stage with Justin Timberlake, it was the infamous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction that did, which literally gave her cleavage greater media exposure than the game itself.

And just to add insult to injury, Kid Rock decided to make the Stars and Stripes flag his personal poncho. Such an act is legally considered to be defacing the national flag apparently, under United States laws, so his deed caused many angry complaints. But incredibly, not even this generated more controversy than Janet’s briefly exposed breast.

Madonna and her acronym friends 

New York Giants beat the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl XLVII in 2012, while the halftime show smashed all previous TV audiences internationally. Hardly surprising with Cirque de Soleil performing and pop icon Madonna as the headline act. But one of her musical collaborators caused quite the stir, which also proved to be an expensive mistake.

As the carrousel of musical acts appeared alongside Madonna, starting with LMFAO, the next acronym performer did something that live TV editors quickly tried to censor. M.I.A offered the middle finger salute, which she claimed was merely a heat of the moment error, but it also cost her $16 million when sued by the NFL and American broadcaster NBC.

Raising the stakes

Now regardless of what happens during the halftime show, just in case Rihanna or any celebrity guests happen to embarrass themselves, never mind, because most genuine sports fans will only be interested in the football anyway. In fact, this particular Super Bowl could also generate unprecedented levels of engagement, particularly insofar as the sportsbooks are concerned.

Beyond the obvious appeal in the United States, the Super Bowl game is beamed live and direct around the world. And if you happen to be located in the Middle East and North Africa, that presents a great opportunity to find comparisons for top Arabic betting sites, where the focus is primarily on trust and reputation. This is paramount for many bettors across the region, alongside guarantees of privacy and of course, competitive odds and promotions.

American bookies are expecting to take more than $1.1 billion in bets, and that would smash the previous record set last year at Super Bowl LVI, when betting for the Rams versus Bengals game attracted $937 million on the day. Furthermore, the American Gaming Association believes overall betting, beforehand and on the day, could surpass the $8 billion in total. Whichever team you’re backing, enjoy the show and the winning’s if you’re lucky.