Football fans take on FGL’s Tyler Hubbard as Thanksgiving cast member

Photo: John Russo

A tradition as tried and tested as grandma’s pumpkin pie. Every Thanksgiving, a football team must make the worst possible choice for a half-time performer from pop-country dregs and embarrass country music on a national stage like your drunk uncle throwing a racist tirade in front of your fiancĂ©.

This year, the Minnesota Vikings selected Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard to be the halftime cast member for the NFL’s prime-time Thanksgiving Day game after their embarrassing 4-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

The only thing cheaper than booking the Florida Georgia Line for your halftime show is booking half the Florida Georgia Line for your halftime show. But of course the Vikings were left with no choice when it came to booking the Florida Georgia Line since the duo officially split up Earlier this year amid declining interest in her weary bro-country shtick.

Minnesota Vikings fans naturally took to social media to blow raspberries at the decision because it’s not 2013 anymore and most people woke up to how awful bro-country is, while a whole bunch of fans were confused because barely someone that knew specific names for the Florida Georgia Line guys anyway. “Is he Florida or Georgia?” was a common refrain. By the way, Tyler Hubbard is Georgia.

The truth is, Tyler Hubbard’s solo stuff probably isn’t as terrible as Florida Georgia Line, but when you’re at rock bottom it’s not hard to step up. Couldn’t they find a better performer than the remnants of country music’s bro phase? Here in 2022 you have a bunch of newer country artists who are far more popular than half the Florida Georgia Line. A look at the charts shows that even more independent artists like Zach Bryan and Tyler Childers are surpassing Tyler Hubbard’s popularity.

Don’t be surprised if we don’t see artists like Tyler Childers, Zach Bryan, the Turnpike Troubadours, Billy Strings, Cody Jinks, and others doing these types of performances for years to come. After all, they’re all getting into popularity territory now, while Tyler Hubbard is out there taking on opening duty for Keith Urban.

It’s a new day in country music, and institutions like the NFL should take notice. It’s time to give artists from the more independent side of country music a fair shot at these opportunities. Don’t you think fans like something they may not know about more than something they already know sucks?