When two NFL teams take the field on Feb. 7 for Super Bowl 50 — hey, why’d the NFL ditch the Roman numeral “L” for this Super Bowl? — viewers could be in for the best, most exciting Super Bowl in the history of football. On the other hand, we might end up suffering through a lopsided snorefest that’ll provide awful moments that equal these five terrible moments from past Super Bowls …
#5. Super Bowl XXXIII — “Hookergate”
*Final Score: Broncos 34, Falcons 19
This game kicked off with bad karma on the field and possibly one of the greatest personal fumbles in Super Bowl history…or what I like to call, “Hookergate.” Falcon’s safety Eugene Robinson earned the Bart Starr award, which honors players of “distinguished character.” Ironically, he was arrested the night before the game for solicitation of prostitution. Bart Starr must have been so proud.
Robinson, presumably tired from chasing hookers all night, gave up an 80-yard touchdown reception to Broncos receiver Rod Smith during this January 31, 1999 Super Bowl matchup at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida. The final score was a blowout in favor of the Broncos — 34 to 19. John Elway, 38 years old at the time, was the game’s MPV.
So, who took the brunt of the blame on the other end of the field? Robinson? The prostitutes of Miami? Nah, it was a group effort, as many of the Atlanta Falcons eventually admitted to visiting prostitutes the week leading up to the big game. Paying for sex is sad, and so was this Super Bowl.
Next: Super Bowl XX
#4. Super Bowl XX — “The Super Bowl Shuffle”
Final score: Bears 40, Patriots 10
The game took place on Jan. 26, 1986, and it was a total slaughter. The Chicago Bears blew out the New England Patriots 40-10, putting the Pats away for good with a 21-point third quarter. However, that wasn’t the worst thing to come out of it. That would be the Chicago Bears’ gloriously silly sports-music video “The Super Bowl Shuffle.” Warning: once you see these moves you cannot unsee them. And they will haunt your dreams.
Next: Super Bowl XLVII
#3. Super Bowl XLVII — “Lights Out in New Orleans”
Final score: Ravens 34, 49ers 31
With 13:22 left in the third quarter, the most watched football game of the year came to an eerily dark halt…for more than a half hour. It was February 3, 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome when the Baltimore Ravens clipped the San Francisco 49ers in a SUPERCLOSE Super Bowl game, winning 34-31.
The partial power outage was said to have occurred because of a relay device with a design defect malfunction. Huh? This lame game left grumbling fans suspicious. Even Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who retired after his Super Bowl win has said, “I’m not gonna accuse nobody of nothing—because I don’t know facts. But you’re a zillion-dollar company, and your lights go out? No. No way.”
#2: Super Bowl XXXVIII — “Nipplegate”
Final score: Patriots 32, Panthers 29
It was the “wardrobe malfunction” seen around the world — and later reviewed over and over by the FCC to see what types of ridiculous fines they could dole out to keep kids in America safe from Janet Jackson’s nipple. Oh yeah, there was a football game played as well.
During Super Bowl XXXVIII on February 1, 2004, Jackson and Justin Timberlake were performing at halftime. All was well and predictably as boring as usual until — POOF! — out came a nip after Timberlake “accidentally” tore off a piece of Jackson’s costume. But the audience didn’t get a full-frontal view because Jackson had a star-shaped pasty over the goods.
The finger pointing was immediately directed at MTV, who produced their second and final Super Bowl halftime. Hmmm, maybe if MTV were a music network instead of a reality TV outlet the performance would have been better? Just saying …
Next: Super Bowl XLIX#1: Super Bowl XLIX — “Deflategate”
Final score: Patriots 28, Seahawks 24
The New England Patriots narrowly defeated the Seattle Seahawks with a 28-24 win in this scandalous game that took place on Feb. 1, 2015. The Pats, ahem, “earned” their fourth Super Bowl title at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The 2014 AFC Championship Game football tampering scandal, known as “Deflategate,” could be viewed as how the Patriots cheated their way into Super Bowl XLIX. The Patriots destroyed the Indianapolis Colts with a 45-7 staggering win.
As a sports fan, wife, teacher, and mother, I think this is the worst Super Bowl in history because of a the real losers of this unfortunate situation: the New England Patriots. Bad role models to kids and young athletes, they’re the culprits for ruining this Super Bowl.
Also Read: A Local Gal’s Guide to Pro Sports in Detroit
Michelle Kane can be found in her hometown of Detroit, cheering on the Lions, Red Wings, and Tigers. Kane is a former “football widow” until her husband scored NFL season tickets. She has previously written for Metro Parent magazine and cafemom.com. Kane has written two young adult novels, with a third coming in 2016. Contact her at