Top 10 Worst Super Bowl Experiences
The following are without a doubt the worst moments an NFL player has ever had to endure. BUT…
The first blunder below had nothing to do with anyone playing on the field…
CBS and the NFL
Super Bowl XXXVIII
Hardly anyone remembers the Super Bowl between the Patriots and Panthers for its climactic finish. It’s mostly remembered for Janet Jackson’s nipple. That’s right. Jackson’s nipple was the real MVP since she stole the show after it was revealed with the aide of Justin Timberlake during the halftime show.
The FCC fined CBS a record high $550,000 after receiving over 540,000 complaints. The NFL suffered backlash and banned MTV, who had helped produce the show, from any halftime shows in the future. It also gave us a 5 second delay in case any more nipples pop out on live television and the incident coined the terms “wardrobe malfunction” and “nipplegate.”
The real winners are all of us as this incident essentially created YouTube. Jawed Karim, the co-founder of YouTube didn’t get to see the halftime show and couldn’t find the video anywhere so he and his peers were inspired to create YouTube for these type of things.
Thurman Thomas, Bills
Super Bowl XXVI
It’s not often that that you will see the season’s MVP not start for his team in the Super Bowl but that’s exactly what happened with Thurman Thomas.
The Bills leading running back lost his helmet somewhere on the sideline as he went out for the coin toss. The Redskins quickly went three and out and Buffalo’s offense was set to take the field. Meanwhile Thomas and equipment managers scrambled to try and find the helmet until Bills head coach Marv Levy had no choice but to put back-up Kenny Davis in the starting series.
The Bills staled and Thomas would find it three plays later, but it must have mentally shaken him as the running back only had 10 rushes for 13 yards and a touchdown. Buffalo would lose 37-24.
Stanley Wilson, Bengals
Super Bowl XXIII
Wilson was a key member of Cincinnati’s backfield and played a big part in getting the Bengals past the Wildcard round against Seattle that season. With the muddy conditions of the field in Super Bowl XXIII, Wilson was expected to be a big threat against the 49ers. However, the night before the game, Wilson who had struggled with drug abuse, had a relapse in his cocaine use and was kept out of the big game. The Bengals went on to lose and the game would be known for Joe Montana’s 92-yard game-winning drive.
Neil O’Donnell, Steelers
Super Bowl XXX
The Most Valuable Player award for Super Bowl XXX went to Dallas Cowboys safety Larry Brown. In reality, it should have went to Steelers quarterback Neil O’Donnell because two of the three interceptions O’Donnell threw went right to Brown with absolutely no receivers nearby. The passes were so bad that it actually looks intentional. Brown’s second interception is what sealed Dallas’ 27-17 Super Bowl victory.
Jim Kelly, Bills
Super Bowl XXVI
The Bills had high hopes of redeeming themselves after the Super Bowl loss the previous year. However, the Bills quarterback quickly demolished any chances of that. Kelly threw a Super Bowl record 58 passes and tallied up five turnovers including four interceptions and a fumble. The dismal performance put the Bills in a deep hole against the Redskins and they never could recover.
Leon Lett, Cowboys
Super Bowl XXVII
Technically Lett left the field a winner but he had the most embarrassing blunder in Super Bowl history. The defensive lineman recovered a fumble at Buffalo’s 35-yard line and was running it back for a touchdown.
The problem was, he started celebrating at the 5-yard line and as he approached the endzone, he stretched the ball out only to have Bills receiver Don BeBe fly down the sidelines and knock it out of his hands causing a touchback.
The Cowboys still won 52-17 but his mistake cost Dallas the record for most points in Super Bowl history and Lett became the poster boy for not celebrating early.
Barret Robins, Raiders
Super Bowl XXXVII
Two days before the Raiders were to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl, Oakland’s starting center, Barret Robbins disappeared.
Robbins was mentally unstable and had not taken his medication and left the team hotel without his wallet or cell phone. When Robbins was later found, he was incoherent and left off the roster for the Super Bowl. His teammates did not perform well in his absence and lost 48-21 to the Buccaneers.
It was later discovered that Robbins was partying in Tijuana and thought the Raiders had already won and was celebrating the game.
Pete Carroll, Seahawks
Super Bowl XLIX
He’s the only head coach that makes our list and it’s for an obvious reason. His decision to throw from the one-yard line instead of using Marshawn Lynch to run it in for the game-winning touchdown was beyond puzzling. Everyone was left wondering, “why didn’t they run the ball” after Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s pass was intercepted by Malcom Butler giving the Patriots the Super Bowl victory.
Scott Norwood, Bills
Super Bowl XXV
It’s never good when your blunder serves as the inspiration for the villain role in “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.”
Trailing the Giants 19-20 with eight seconds remaining, the Bills kicker Scott Norwood lined up for a 47-yard field goal on grass and booted it wide right. It would be the first of four straight Super Bowl losses. To be fair, it wasn’t an easy kick but it’s an iconic missed opportunity.
Eugene Robinson, Falcons
Super Bowl XXXIII
There is no other player that shamed himself and his team more so than the Falcons’ three-time Pro Bowl safety Eugene Robinson.
The day before the Super Bowl against the Broncos and hours after winning an award for outstanding character and leadership, Robinson was arrested for trying to solicit a prostitute. The incident destroyed his reputation and may have been on his mind when Denver wide out Rod Smith torched him for an 80-yard touchdown. The Falcons went on to lose 34-19, which ended up as John Elway’s last game of his career.
Joshua Caudill is a writer for CraveOnline Sports, a surfing enthusiast, an unhealthy sports fanatic, and an expert on all things Patrick Swayze. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshuaCaudill85 or “like”CraveOnline Sports on Facebook.