Triumphant moments of Super Bowls-past tend to prevail in the minds of fans.
The win of the underdog. The play (or halftime show or Budweiser commercial “aw”) that drives people to tears and the edge of their seats. The feeling of victory when the best team wins.
Lest we let this testosterone-drenched show of sport suffer from too much sepia-toned nostalgia: Do you remember that one time …?
The lights went out.
Some say it was Beyonce and her "thinly veiled Illuminati ritual" during the halftime show, and some claim a conspiracy to rig the game. Either way, during the second half of Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans' Superdome, the lights went out, and stayed out for 30 minutes. The Ravens were on a roll with the score 28-6, and after the lights came back on, the 49ers came back and the game was much closer, with the Ravens eking out a win of 34-31.
The company responsible for power to the stadium said faulty equipment was to blame.
Ray Lewis was accused of killing two people.
This incident was bookended by two Super Bowls. After an Atlanta Super Bowl XXXIV party on Jan. 31, 2000, a fight broke out between Lewis' entourage and another group of people, resulting in the stabbing deaths of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar. Lewis and two companions, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting, were indicted on murder and aggravated-assault charges.
The murder charges against Lewis were dropped in exchange for testimony against his companions. He also received 12 months probation. His companions were later acquitted, and no other suspects have ever been arrested. In 2001's Super Bowl XXXV between the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants, Lewis was named MVP. Lewis also went on to play for the Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.
Janet Jackson had a wardrobe malfunction.
During the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, while performing with Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson's costume slipped and her nipple made an appearance on TV. Though the moment known as Nipplegate lasted less than a second, it led to tighter broadcast regulations and even a fine from the Federal Communications Commission. Later rescinded after a Supreme Court case, CBS was originally fined a record $550,000.
Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson called Terry Bradshaw “dumb.”
In the lead-up to Super Bowl XIII in 1979 between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys, the Cowboys' Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson said of the Steelers' Bradshaw, "He couldn't spell cat if you spotted him the 'c' and the 'a.'" Bradshaw then led the Steelers to a 35-31 win, and was named MVP in not only 1979's Super Bowl, but also the next year in Super Bowl XIV.
Leon Lett lost a touchdown by celebrating early.
During Super Bowl XXVII in 1993 between the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills, Cowboys defensive lineman Leon Lett grabbed a fourth-quarter fumble, and headed for a certain touchdown. Certain, that is, until he slowed down to celebrate, and Bills wide receiver Don Beebe loosened the ball, turning the touchdown into a touchback. The Cowboys won 52-17, and Lett's smooth move lives on in infamy.
Garo Yepremian's kick was blocked into his hands.
During the fourth quarter of Super Bowl VII in 1973 between the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins, Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian lined up for a simple field goal. It was blocked, and he made it to the ball before his teammates. Yepremian tried to pass, but the ball slipped out of his hands into Redskins Mike Bass' hands. Bass then ran for a touchdown, and cut the Dolphins' 14-0 lead in half. The Dolphins won the game, 14-7, but the blooper lives on and on.
Thurman Thomas lost his helmet.
During Super Bowl XXVI in 1992 between the Washington Redskins and the Buffalo Bills, Bills running back Thurman Thomas missed the first two offensive plays after misplacing his helmet.
Thomas had a pre-game ritual where he placed his helmet at the 34-yard line. His helmet was moved to make way for Harry Connick Jr., who sang the national anthem.
The Titans were one yard short of victory.
During Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000 between the Tennessee Titans and St. Louis Rams, the Rams were winning 23-16 when Titans wide receiver Kevin Dyson ran for a game-changing touchdown. He was tackled by Rams linebacker Mike Jones at the one-yard line, with his arm reaching for the touchdown that didn't quite make it.
Stanley Wilson was caught powdering his nose.
The night before Super Bowl XXIII in 1989 between the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Francisco 49ers, Bengals running back Stanley Wilson was caught in the bathroom in the midst of a cocaine high. The Bengals left him off the roster the next day, and went on to lose to the 49ers, some say due to the loss of Wilson. It being his third offense under the NFL's drug policy, he was banned for life.
Eugene Robinson solicited an undercover cop.
The day before Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999 between the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons, Falcons safety Eugene Robinson was arrested on a charge of soliciting an undercover police officer (posing as a prostitute) for oral sex. He was awarded the Bart Starr Award from the Christian group Athletes in Action for his "outstanding character and leadership" earlier the same day. He played in the Super Bowl, and the Broncos beat the Falcons 34-19.