Ever since Janet Jackson's legendary "wardrobe malfunction" at the 2003 game, the Super Bowl has stuck with safe, largely male performers for the halftime show, and for a while there wasn't even hiring actors under the age of 50. They're skewing a little bit older again this year, but also bringing in someone with more potential for scandal. Yesterday the NFL confirmed that they've asked 53-year-old Madonna to perform during the halftime show at next year's game, which will take place on February 5 in Indianapolis.

If you were paying attention, Madonna's participation had been rumored since early October, and presumably it's been a long road of negotiations and salary debates to get her on board since then. It's a little surprising to hear that Madonna might perform, given that the erstwhile Material Girl is busy this fall promoting the film she directed, W.E., and a new clothing line she designed with her daughter. But, ever a smart businesswoman, Madonna also has a new studio album coming out in the spring, and with plans to release one of the singles in February, how better to get people on board with her new stuff than by performing in front of the largest TV audience of the year?

As W.E. prepares to hit theaters and likely be ignored by critics and the Oscars alike, I kind of enjoy thinking of Madonna's halftime performance as a middle finger to the awards show, which draw in a far smaller audience each year than the Super Bowl. But what really matters, of course, is if everyone will be talking about Madonna's performance the next day, or if we'll have already forgotten about her by the time the next funny commercial airs. So what do you guys think? Does it at least have to be an improvement on the Black Eyed Peas and their Tron nonsense last year?

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