The thing with GWAR is that they're busy. They tour a lot, their costumes require a lot of upkeep -- as you can see above, there's a lot of latex involved -- and Devising New Ways To Subjugate And Destroy Humanity is a pretty time-consuming sideline, at least relative to the hobbies of most other heavy metal bands. This does not leave a lot of time for responding to the wishes of the puny humans upon which GWAR -- over a career spanning nearly three decades and 13 studio albums -- has declared and ruthlessly waged total audiovisual war.
When Jeff Cantrell, a GWAR fan from Morehead, Ky., began his campaign on Change.org to make GWAR the halftime headliners at the Super Bowl in 2015, he was not expecting a response from the band. "[Front man Oderus Urungus] has re-tweeted it several times," Cantrell told me at the time. "And really, that's a lot to ask of a space mutant with such large hands." But as the petition soared beyond 20,000 signatures -- and then 30,000, to its present perch north of 41,000 -- it became impossible to ignore.
Earlier this week, Cantrell told me, he received a call at home from someone at the NFL, asking that he email them with his requests/demands. He did so, and has not yet heard back. We can only assume that this means Roger Goodell and NFL Senior VP of Communications Greg Aiello are still listening to 1990's Scumdogs of the Universe and trying to find the best way to align its songs with the interests and brand truths of specific corporate partners. Whatever the case, Cantrell is humbled by his petition's success. "I couldn't be more pleased that over 40,000 people have heard the call of GWAR and country," he told me.
But, despite all that success and those terse Urungus retweets, there had been no response from GWAR itself. Which, again, makes sense: we are but pitiful humans, GWAR are our sworn enemies and vanquishers, et cetera. But then, on Friday, word came from the band, via an astonishing press release issued through Metal Blade Records. The short answer is that GWAR endorses the petition. The long answer is that they remain committed to destroying humanity, and would be happy to further that longstanding goal both by playing at and actually playing in the Super Bowl. To wit:
"It has long been the joy of GWAR to submit the human race to any number of hideous tortures, and I can't think of anything more horrible than you having to watch acts like The Black-Eyed Peas and Bruno Mars perform. So the temptation to ignore this is great! But then you start thinking about all of the people that who have never experienced GWAR before, and will be forced to do so if we do get the gig, well, at that point my colossal mega-ego kicks in and I am all over it."
After a long and wet fart, Oderus continued..."I really don't think we should be limited to playing the halftime show ... I am offering GWAR as an actual team that could complete (sic) in the NFL. Think of the titanic struggle involved as the NFL submits their best players, hell, we could play against all the teams at once and still emerge victorious. For too long has the NFL ignored the obvious fact that the players should be naked, blind-folded and armed with battle axes, that land mines should litter the field and whalers should hurl harpoons randomly from the stands. GWAR is throwing our entire cosmic weight (and we are fairly hefty) behind this petition, and command all of our followers, their families, and indeed anybody who has ever existed to sign this [f---ing] thing."
Which brings us ... well, probably at least a few steps closer to ultimate doom, depending on whether the NFL will submit to the will of both 41,000-odd people and their cruel galactic overlords. No immediate response is likely, as a decision of this magnitude is one that shouldn't be rushed. But Cantrell, for his part, is already planning the next step.
"While we wait for the NFL to break their stoney silence, we can contemplate whether we get the marching band version of 'Saddam-A-Go-Go', a choir version of 'They Swallowed the Sun', or an acoustic version of 'Maggots'," he says. The last word, as ever, will be Goodell's. But even the most powerful man in sports surely knows that when Oderus Urungus endorses something, attention must be paid.
Thanks to Chris Collision for the initial tip.