Up With People’s last Super Bowl performance was in 1986 in New Orleans. By this point, the group’s cultural moment had passed; it was morning in America. Rozelle had grown sick of them, anyway, reportedly telling his staff years earlier that there were three words he never wanted to hear again: Up, with and people.
Still, the Uppies left their mark on the game. As campy as they may look now, they created the concept of the halftime show as a free-standing cultural event of its own. It took a little while for the NFL to figure out what sort of acts its viewers really wanted, but if not for Roos and his fellow Uppies, we might very well be watching the Southern University marching band on Sunday night instead of Beyonce.