Nearly 20 years ago, singer Joey Fatone was getting ready for arguably the biggest show of his music career when his band *NSYNC performed during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa. The group shared the stage with a constellation of pop sensations, including Mary J. Blige, Britney Spears and Aerosmith.
Today, his concerns are a lot more pedestrian: the double dipping of chips.
While, it sounds like he’s doing a George Costanza bit from Seinfeld, he’s actually serious about this Super Bowl party foul. As the father of two, he is particular troubled by children who keep going back to the dip bowl between plays. Kids “like to double dip and I don’t like that,” he says. “About 45-percent of people are disgusted by double dipping. I’m one of them.” So, what’s the big deal about it? It’s “just because you don’t know if your kid has boogers in his hand and decides to dip it.”
To be fair, Fatone may take snacking and tailgating a bit more serious than most. “Love chips. Love dips,” he says. (In particular, French onion dip with a Lay’s Potato Chip or jalapeño cheddar dip with a soft pretzel.) For the Super Bowl this year, he even paired up with snack producer Heluva Good! to promote a kind of lazy Susan/dip dispenser contraption that prevents a guest from trying to go back for a second helping. A few years ago, he also started the upscale hot dog company, Fat One’s, in Orlando, which currently has a food truck. “I came up with the idea,” he says. “We came up with the name. We did the tasting. We came up with the different flavors.”
In addition, he’s a huge Super Bowl fan. For ten straight years, he actually attended the game in person. After performing during halftime, “I got hooked on watching the live game,” he says. However, he now admits, “it’s kind of nice to have your own party in your own house.”
But can he sit back and enjoy the halftime performance or does it at all make him nervous or anxious? “It doesn’t make me nervous but I do get excited. Obviously, ours was the best performance ever,” he jokes.
He also wasn’t particularly nervous back in 2001. “I just don’t want to screw up. That’s what it boils down to,” he says. “It was cool. Steven Tyler is awesome. It was a weird, surreal event. It was the first time MTV ever did the Super Bowl.”
And at least that year the weather was good, compared with the rain storm that Prince played through in 2007. “That dude went out there and in the pouring rain and did not give a damn,” he says. “I saw it. It was unbelievable. I give him props for that.”
Back in the day, *NSYNC always had a huge Super Bowl party, especially since Fatone’s and Justin Timberlake’s birthdays are at the end of January. And in fact, when *NSYNC was touring, its green room was like a football tailgate. “I shit you not, there was a tray of grilled cheese, trays of mac & cheese, trays of chicken fingers and trays of French fries. Those were the things that we had all the time, every time,” he remembers. Now 18 years later, it would be a bit different and Fatone would prefer to have plenty of salad and vegetables waiting for him backstage. “We try to, obviously, go a little on the healthier side.”