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Janet Jackson Doesn’t Appear At The Super Bowl & Fans Celebrate Anyway

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No matter your choice sports team, everyone knows that the best Super Bowl moment of recent history was Janet Jackson, circa 2004, a good and honest 14 years into our past. Unfortunately, Janet Jackson said she would not be appearing at Super Bowl LII, ending rumors that the mother and superstar would make it worth tuning into our televisions as young and fit men crashed their protective gear together for three hours on the field, punctuated by a kickass half-time show, in which she was a mere hat tip for Justin Timberlake at the top of his set. Her Twitter account was also a ghost town at kickoff on Sunday, save for her announcement the previous day. But fans made hay out of it anyway, christening the day #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay.

The general vibe on Twitter was "who cares even a whit about eagles and patriots and citizens in horse masks, we have Janet and that is all that matters." Essentially, with very mixed feelings about the Super Bowl in light of numerous issues with the NFL coming to light, and damning evidence that football tackles are linked to CTE brain injuries, fans looked on Jackson's decision not to appear as a way to have the Super Bowl half show WITHOUT having the Super Bowl half show, if you know what I mean.

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Apparently, Jackson even out-trended the Super Bowl in the early moments of the game.

... with angry fans using it as a way to throw shade at the distasteful half-time show.

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For this fan, it was "Tom Brady's taking the field? TIME FOR A HISTORY LESSON."

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The Twitter user @CravingJanet used the moment to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of Janet's Control album. Which, OK, sure it is.

The half-time show in 2018 was headlined by Justin Timberlake, her *partner* in the famous 2004 mishap, hence the fever over a possible appearance. Nipplegate, also known by its longer title, "The Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake Wardrobe Malfunction," involved Jackson's boob slipping free of its feckless Hollywood tape and bouncing out into public view as a gaping young Timberlake looked on. The concern at the time was that the oh-so-wholesome Super Bowl was no place for an areola to make an appearance. Basically, "what about the children?" went the cries, ignoring the fact that many of those children were reared on boobs, before they had teeth and immunity systems and complex digestive skills. Boobs!

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Taking to Twitter, the icon wrote:

Notable in this message were three things:

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  1. Her firm "I will not," which made me feel bad for even thinking it might be a possibility.
  2. Her use of a semi-colon in a text-picture Tweet.
  3. The fact that I am not currently using extreme kerning each time I write my name out a la J A N E T. I am strongly considering adopting that style, which I think makes me look at least 40 percent more chill and 20 percent younger simply by virtue of its millennial-ness.

And frankly, fair enough. As exciting as it might be for Timberlake to reunite with the rockstar who took him from "guy wearing the matching denim with Britney Spears at the 2001 MTV Music Awards" to "oh yeah, the sexyback guy. Married to the girl from Seventh Heaven. A legitimate star in his own right."

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Jackson's disinterest in Super Bowl LII is not entirely surprising given how busy the 51-year-old is, touring her State Of The World show and generally kicking ass everywhere she goes. Recently, she retweeted a post that read "when Janet slays too hard," and featured fans falling down. Essentially: I'm busy right now.

Jackson has a lot to get nostalgic about, and the 2004 Super Bowl is just about last on her list. Her epic album Rhythm Nation came out in 1989, which means she will be celebrating the 30 year anniversary of its release in just over a year. And Janet Jackson is already warming up her nostalgia jets, tweeting lyrics and snapshots from the massive album, which is still in heavy rotation on the nation's radios today.

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So, while Super Bowl LII would certainly be more interesting if we had Janet Jackson there, or at least commentating it from the safety of her Twitter account for all our amusement, we all have our hands full for #JanetAppreciationDay.

More to come.

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Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.

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