Worst Moments In Super Bowl History
My worst Super Bowl Moment involved a blonde Mormon, a gas mask, a missing cigar box and Laura Bush. What was your worst Super Bowl moment?
We all know that Super Bowl Sunday is a corridor to sports glory and immortality. But for every winner there's a loser and for every story of a heroic fourth-quarter comeback there's another about a legendary sex-crazed coke binge. The Super Bowl invites extremes. And while the day can be one of bacchanalia and celebration things can also turn quickly and swallow the unsuspecting whole.
Below is a list of the worst moments in Super Bowl history, as voted on by me:
14. Denver's second quarter (Super Bowl XXII)
The announcers must've said it 20 times: no team had ever blown a 10-point lead in the Super Bowl. Denver immediately proceeded to allow Washington five consecutive touchdowns - in just 18 plays spanning six minutes. The Redskins posted 42 unanswered points, with 35 of them coming in that second quarter.
13. Barrett Robbins on suicide watch (Super Bowl XXXVII)
Robbins gets drunk and starts crying in some Mexican bar and receives national media attention. I do it and all I get is an intervention.
Two Raiders fans found Robbins, a Pro Bowl center for an all-time offense, two days before the game in the throes of a savage bender. The manic-depressive was drunk on tequila and weeping in some dive bar in Tijuana, Mexico. He spent the rest of that weekend in a mental ward on suicide watch, donning a padded room instead of shoulder pads on the biggest day of his life.
12. Eugene Robinson and the hard sell (Super Bowl XXXIII)
If someone wants a definition of irony, give them this: Just hours after accepting the Bart Starr Award for displaying "high moral character", the starting safety for the Atlanta Falcons got arrested for soliciting a prostitute.
Robinson was busted the night before the game for trying to get a hummer from a prostitute in Miami. He did start the next day for the Falcons, blowing deep coverage on Rod Smith's game-changing 80-yard touchdown for Denver.
11. Stanley Wilson's coke binge (Super Bowl XXIII)
Don't judge Mr. Wilson. If you had the option of attending some boring team meeting or going back to your hotel room to start snorting and smoking coke, what would you do?
The night before Cincinnati was to face San Francisco, the Bengals starting fullback chose Option B. One of his teammates found him later that night, sweating and panting in the bathroom of a Holiday Inn.
Needless to say, Wilson didn't play the next day and the Bengals lost one of the most thrilling Super Bowls ever.
10. Super Bowl halftime show enters the vortex (Super Bowl XXXVIII)
Here's the checklist for a Halftime Show From Hell:
- Having to explain to your seven-year-old nephew what's wrong with Janet Jackson's mutant nipple? Check.
- Terrible Justin Timberlake lip-syncing? Check.
- A British streaker stripping down to a thong and running around on the field? Check.
- Pyrotechnics from the halftime show leaving a large billow of smoke lingering above the field for the entire third quarter? Check.
9. The night the lights went out in New Orleans (Super Bowl XLVII)
Basic incompetence and shoddy Bayou infrastructure combined for one of the most bizarre moments in championship history in Super Bowl XLVII. Thanks to a 108-yard kickoff return to start the second half, the Ravens led the 49ers 28-6 in the "Harbaugh Bowl" with 13:22 left in the third quarter. Then, shockingly, the power shut off in the Superdome and resulted in a 35-minute delay. Having come just a few minutes after an extended halftime, it meant that some key players waited over an hour in between actual game action. The disjointed pace helped blunt Baltimore's momentum and resulted in San Francisco playing its way back into the game.
8. John Kasay misses the field (Super Bowl XXXVIII)
Any time a kicker misses the field with a kickoff, it's ludicrous. On top of giving the opponent the ball at the 40, the penalty should include his teammates being able to strip him down, tie him up in his little practice net, and pelt him with footballs until he bleeds from his ears. Just a suggestion.
It's bad enough to do it in a regular season game. But giving your opponent that field position when you're a minute away from sending the Super Bowl to overtime is downright unforgivable. I blame him for all of Tom Brady's success.
7. Peyton Manning's opening play safety (Super Bowl XLVIII)
Everyone in the country wanted Peyton Manning to win one more Super Bowl. Especially at the expense of the cocky, upstart Seahawks. But everyone's dreams were crushed in one horrid snap. Manny Ramirez snapped the ball past a befuddled Manning and into the end zone, where Knowshon Moreno fell onto it for a safety. This play was the fastest score in Super Bowl history, the first blown in a 43-8 massacre, and the opening nail in what became the biggest windfall for sportsbooks in SB history.
6. Garo Yepremian's limp wrist (Super Bowl VII)
Bring this play up the next time that someone says that soccer players are better athletes than football players. Garo had his 42-yard attempt blocked, and instead of falling on the ball he picked it up and tried to throw it. The "pass" was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Mike Bass.
I mean, the guy is on the NFL's only undefeated Super Bowl winner and he throws like an eight-year-old girl. There's just something not right about that.
5. Thurman Thomas can't find his helmet, Super Bowl XXVI
We could do a Top 10 list just of Buffalo Bills moments, but this one is classic. If I can't find the remote or a bottle opener by kickoff of the Super Bowl I'm a dumbass being ridiculed without mercy by my friends and family. This guy couldn't find his head, so what does that make him?
4. Atlanta Falcons' fourth quarter collapse (Super Bowl LI)
The fourth quarter of Super Bowl LI is a master's class in how to blow a lead in an NFL game. The Falcons had a seemingly insurmountable 28-3 lead with three minutes to play in the third quarter and they were up 28-12 with 9:40 to play in the game. And they blew it.
There was Matt Ryan's absurd fumble at his own 25-yard line. Kyle Shanahan's stunning decision to call three straight passes after getting to the New England 22-yard line. Jake Matthews' crippling holding penalty to set up 3rd-and-33. And Robert Alford's shocking dropped interception. Add it all together and no team in championship history peed down their own legs like the Falcons in this fourth quarter.
3. Jackie Smith drops the pass (Super Bowl XIII)
This may be the Bill Buckner Moment of football. Not in its overall significance to the franchise, but in the fact that it showed how a routine play, botched on the biggest stage, can stay with you for decades. Smith was wide open. I mean he was WIDE open. And the 38-year-old Cowboy dropped what would have been a game-tying touchdown. Dallas settled for a field goal, and lost to Pittsburgh by four.
2. Norwood lays foundation for Ray Finkle (Super Bowl XXV)
Being from New York, I know a ton of Bills fans. I honestly can't say that I've ever heard one of them have an argument about football that didn't come to an abrupt end when the non-Buffalo fan starts shouting, "Wide right! Wide right!" I've seen it a hundred times. Hell, it could be a game between Houston and Tampa Bay, and if a kicker misses a field goal just wide and to the right, someone immediately cracks a joke about Scott Norwood.
This moment defines a franchise, a city, and one of the greatest would-be dynasty tragedies in sports history. Close, but not close enough. And to this day Norwood serves as the greater example of how an entire career - an entire life - can be defined by what went wrong in the Super Bowl.
1. Russell Wilson's end zone interception (Super Bowl XLIX)
This play will forever be one of the greatest, most memorable, most stupefying plays in all of sports. Sitting just one yard from the end zone and Super Bowl glory, Seattle did everything wrong. The Seahawks decided to throw the ball, Malcolm Butler jumped the quick slant and intercepted Russell Wilson, and in a split second the fortune of two franchises changed forever.
Was this play a tragic error by Pete Carroll? Or was it all Wilson's fault? Or did Butler simply make a heroic play to stave off defeat? This play, and the controversy around it, can be dissected for days. And considering everyone in the country outside of New England was pulling for the Seahawks this play has to be considered one of the worst moments in Super Bowl history.
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