Its déjà vu for Super Bowl 52. With the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots set to go head to head, fans are recalling the two teams’ last Super Bowl matchup in 2005.
Justin Timberlake is scheduled to be the halftime show performer for Super Bowl 52, according to Rolling Stone. But football fans vividly remember Timberlake’s last performance at the Super Bowl in 2004, when he was famously involved in Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” controversy. That year, the Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers, but buzz over the halftime show dominated the headlines after Timberlake grabbed Jackson’s corset during their performance of the song “Rock Your Body” and accidentally exposed her bare breast. Viewer outrage ensued and the singers were thrust into damage control mode, as the FCC slapped that year’s Super Bowl host, CBS, with a $550,000 indecency fine.
The following year, as the Philadelphia Eagles faced off against the Patriots for the Super Bowl, the NFL decide to play it “safe” by securing Paul McCartney to perform at the annual halftime show. The singer performed Beatles classics “Drive My Car,” “Get Back,” “Hey Jude,” and Wings favorite, “Live and Let Die,” as he kicked off a succession of “safe” halftime shows performed by classic rock bands. The next several Super Bowls would feature the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and The Who.
But now, fans are wondering if it’s karma that the Eagles-Patriots showdown will be set to a Justin Timberlake soundtrack, and some think it’s a sure sign that Janet Jackson will return to the stage for redemption. Football fans took to Twitter to react to the irony of an Eagles-Patriots matchup with Justin Timberlake as the halftime show headliner, with many calling for Janet Jackson to make a cameo.
Irony of the Justin Timberlake #SuperBowl halftime: last Patriots/Eagles game was Paul McCartney, the first in a run of "safer" acts post-Timberlake/Janet Jackson
— Brian Clark (@BrianClark_) January 22, 2018
— Jacob Krill (@trillkrill_) January 22, 2018
Alright I can officially be low key angry that Justin Timberlake is the Super Bowl half time performer for he game my Eagles will perform in. If Janet Jackson is not on that stage I give up.
— Bridget (@hiimbridget) January 22, 2018
Super Bowl expectations: Patriots smoke the Eagles, and JT brings back NSYNC for the halftime show to sing, "I Want You Back" as Janet Jackson gets dropped from a plane on to the stage.
— Jordan Sigwarth (@jsiggy2011) January 22, 2018
I’m calling it right now. During the @jtimberlake super bowl halftime show in 2 weeks @JanetJackson will come on stage at one point and rip off his shirt, revealing JT’s male breast, pasty and all! #freethenipple
— LWYLDSTALLYN (@LeeStilesRH) January 22, 2018
Even though we all know that Justin Timberlake is going to bring out Janet Jackson during the Superbowl Halftime show and that they'll do a little joke about the 'wardrobe malfunction' thing, please act like it is a surprise and you think it's cool. He's worked really hard on it.
— Trevor Moore (@itrevormoore) January 22, 2018
Even Diddy, whose Super Bowl 39 performance was overshadowed by Jackson’s “Nipplegate,” thinks it would be “great” if Janet returned to perform with Justin for Super Bowl 52.
“I’m still upset about [Super bowl 39] because I put, like, six months of my life into the preparation. And then nobody even knew I performed,” Diddy told Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live.
“I think that would be great [if Janet performed again]. It’s time to move on and I think she’s at a great place and the world just needs to get over it.”
While Justin Timberlake has been widely criticized for seemingly throwing Janet Jackson under the bus with “Nipplegate,” in a recent interview with radio show Beats 1, Justin revealed that he made amends with Janet over the Super Bowl incident years ago. Timberlake also revealed that the 2004 debacle was “something we talked about,” when he signed on for the 2018 Super Bowl Halftime Show.
“To be honest, it wasn’t too much of a conversation,” Timberlake said (via Entertainment Weekly). “It’s just one of those things where you go, ‘Yeah what do you want me to say? We’re not going to do that again.'”
You can see Justin Timberlake talking about his return to the Super Bowl stage in the video below.