"Maroon 5 were designed for precisely this moment," says Rob Harvilla. "They are one of the few remaining major rock bands and pop hit-makers prominent enough to qualify for the Super Bowl gig, but also inoffensive and apolitical enough to risk taking it. They are one of the few remaining major rock bands, period. Apolitical is, to be fair, a relative term. Stringy-heartthrob frontman Adam Levine was an outspoken supporter of gay marriage, and the band’s done a goodly amount of charity work in the past 15-plus years, including this week’s extra-conspicuous $500,000 donation, alongside the NFL, to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. But rock band is a relative term, too. The sociopolitical noise will likely drown out Maroon 5’s actual music on Sunday. This band is not quite bad enough for that to qualify as a blessing, but not quite good enough for it to be a travesty. They’ve got some jams. They’ve even got some guitars. But their genre designation is just as muddled as the rest of their impersonal persona. They’re big enough to take that stage, definitely. But they’re also small enough to still be dwarfed by it."