Look on the bright side – the game itself only lasts about three hours out of the six or so that will be broadcast on CBS. That means the network has to fill up at least three more hours with something besides football.

Sure, there are the great commercials – but that doesn’t help the fan in his $1,000 seat at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. So, organizers line up music superstars equivalent to the event to entertain during the down time – though they often end up being overwhelmed by Super Bowl-sized production numbers, smoke machines and dancers.

Super Bowl XXXV might be different considering several of the acts confirmed to perform the pregame, national anthem, and halftime shows have some expertise in major production values.

Nothing says “overkill” quite like a Super Bowl halftime show, and this year’s promises to deliver with grizzled rock veterans Aerosmith and brash whippersnappers ‘N Sync providing the music for the extravaganza.

The pregame festivities promise to be almost as gaudy with a show broken into three acts; a Florida theme will serve as the very fine thread holding it all together.

After a re-enactment of Florida’s annual spring break debauchery – complete with bathing suit contest, volleyball, and the apparently new tradition of sumo wrestlers – Styx will provide the accompaniment to a pirate invasion with a performance of “Come Sail Away.”

Once the stadium floor has been plundered and pillaged, they’ll bring out the 500-plus dancers, pyrotechnics and Sting, who will sing his current hit “Desert Rose” and his old Police chestnut, “Roxanne.”

In a concession to simplicity, Ray Charles has been invited to sing “America the Beautiful” just prior to the performance of the national anthem by the Backstreet Boys.