What Players Really Do During The Super Bowl Halftime Show

The Super Bowl isn't just a game; it's a ritual that embodies the saying, "go big or go home." Many fans go home and grow big from the vast amounts of food they consume. Others cough up big bucks to go to the Super Bowl in person. And bigtime musicians go all out to put on an extravagant halftime show, that not only adds grandness to the game but literally makes it bigger in terms of length.

In the five seasons leading up to 2019, the Super Bowl lasted an average of three hours and 39 minutes, according to Sports Illustrated. That makes the Super Bowl markedly longer than the typical three-hour regular-season game. While commercials contribute some of the extra minutes, the halftime show accounts for about a half hour. That's more than double the length of a regular-season halftime, which lasts about 12 minutes. That must feel like an eternity for the teams in the locker room waiting to to complete their date with destiny. What do they do with all that extra time?

Halftime involves a whole lot of waiting

During the 30 minutes when players aren't hitting their opponents, some are hitting the reset button. Prior to the 2012 Super Bowl, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick actually had the Pats prepare by taking a 30-minute break during practice. Belichick explained, "It really gets into a whole restarting mentality. It's not like taking a break and coming out in the second half. It's like starting the game all over again. It's like playing a game, stopping, and then playing a second game."

Obviously, teams have extra time to regroup and, if necessary, rethink how to approach their opponents. SB Nation notes that these precious additional minutes helped the New York Giants devise game plans for defeating the Patriots at two separate Super Bowls. Some players lay down to relax or receive massages, but the extra minutes are an exercise in patience. Former NFL safety Roman Harper, who played in two Super Bowls with two different teams, put it this way: "You don't need all that other stuff. But hey man, that's what brings in all the bucks. It just comes with it, but nobody wants to sit out for 20 minutes in the middle of the game. Of course the shorter halftime is a lot better."