02/27/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Back Off The Boss, Bitches

I'm from New Jersey, and though you may not have heard the news yet, so is Bruce Springsteen.

By Garden State law, I have been a fan of the man since I was back in middle school, just as Bruce rushed from being that cool rocker from down the Shore to a national treasure when Born To Run made him a cover boy not just on Rolling Stone, but on Time and Newsweek as well.

Frankly, being sainted and all, Springsteen's never needed much defending. Yes, it's hard to be a saint in the city, but for Bruce in New Jersey, not so much. This past week, however, I've heard something new and ugly -- some actual, misguided Boss-bashing. First, the Oscar voters somehow overlooked Springsteen's powerful theme for The Wrestler. Then this weekend I read a number of oddly mean-spirited early reviews for Springsteen's new album Working On A Dream, including a few that seemed to take a late swipe at The Rising and Magic -- two of his finest by my reckoning.

Now I don't even have the album yet -- come on, Bruce and Sony, set a former Bergen County brother up! -- but I hereby promise you Bruce's latest is a solid investment of your money, whatever that means in these post-Madoff times. Here's another safe bet for you: next Sunday, whether the Steelers or the Cardinals take that Super Bowl title, Bruce and the E-Street Band will having a winning performance.

At this point in one of the most uplifting and inspiring careers in popular music history, Bruce is not above criticism -- just way beyond most of what passes for it these days. So if I don't get a free copy of the album in the mail before then, I will buy one on Tuesday. And on Super Bowl Sunday, I'll make sure that my wife, sons and I all take our bathroom breaks well before halftime.

Show a little faith, bitches, there's still magic in the night.