Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Beyonce wows ‘em in New Orleans

Beyonce performs the national anthem at the Pepsi

Beyonce performs the national anthem at the Pepsi Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show news conference at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. (Jan. 31, 2013) (Credit: Getty Images)

The halftime show news conference always is one of the biggest – and strangest – of Super Bowl week, as fawning entertainment writers and grouchy sportswriters vie to ask pertinent questions of famous musicians.

But Thursday’s Beyonce presser was an all-timer, from the moment she began by belting out the national anthem in a clever in-your-face to critics of her Inauguration Day lip-sync.

She revealed almost nothing about her game-day plans, per Super Bowl custom, but her performance is the most-anticipated in years, in part because millions of viewers under 40 actually know of her work.

In the other eight Super Bowls since Janet Jackson’s 2004 “wardrobe malfunction” (also on CBS), seven of the lead performers (or lead singers) were born before there was an AFL, and when there were only 48 United States:

2005: Paul McCartney (born June 18, 1942)

2006: The Rolling Stones (Mick Jagger, July 26, 1943)

2007: Prince (June 7, 1958)

2008: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (Oct. 20, 1950)

2009: Bruce Springsteen (Sept. 23, 1949)

2010: The Who (Roger Daltrey, March 1, 1944)

2011: Black-Eyed Peas (Fergie, March 27, 1975)

2012: Madonna (Aug. 16, 1958)

2013: Beyonce (Sept. 4, 1981)

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