Toto unlikely to play halftime for Lions game

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Rod Wood says the band Toto is not likely to play at Ford Field as the NFL holds the line on paying halftime acts.

Phoenix — During a break at every Detroit Lions home game, there is a vote for the fans to pick the next song played by the Ford Field DJ.

Toto's 1982 hit "Africa" went undefeated. For the entire season. It even knocked off some heavyweight contenders, such as Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" in December. 

"Africa" has become something of an unofficial anthem for Lions fans. Given that, Lions president Rod Wood was asked if the team sought bringing in the band for the team's annual Thanksgiving halftime show. 

The answer wasn't promising. 

"I don't even reach out to individual acts," Wood explained. "There are people that do that (for us). I will say that it is something that we negotiate with the league and the broadcast partners because they want somebody that will draw attention, put on a good show and be something that is worthy of giving up commercial time at halftime. The league has a list of acts that they have relationship with. We supply our own names that we kind of go through and try to invite people we think that might accept, "A", and "B," would be a good performer. Because they're not paid. It's like the Super Bowl, they're not paid for halftime. They're there for exposure and an opportunity to reach fans that would be very difficult through other means. We have 30 million people watch the game, so it's a major platform."

That doesn't exactly bode well for Toto jamming out at Ford Field next November. Still, when asked if we can rule the band out, Wood took the "never say never" approach. 

"I didn't say that," he said with a smile.