The Nine Biggest Super Bowl Fails of All Time
Everybody has had at least one bad day at work. It’s just not usually in front of 90 million people who will force their grandchildren to laugh at your incompetence 75 years later.
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9. Leon Lett Drops the Ball While Running Towards Fat Dude Immortality
According to inside sources, defensive tackles rarely score Super Bowl touchdowns. That’s why when Leon Lett had the opportunity to do so in Super Bowl XXVII, he probably should've taken it a bit more seriously.
With a narrow five touchdown lead against the Buffalo Bills (they come up a lot on these sorts of lists), Lett recovered a fumble on the 45 yard line and had a clear path to the end zone. Naturally, the 300-pound lineman decided to get fancy with things and run with the ball fully extended across his body. Bills receiver Don Beebe appreciated this careless approach, so much so that he decided to relieve Lett of his touchdown responsibilities and stripped the ball from him shortly before the goal line.
8. Eugene Robinson Forgets That You’re Supposed to Wait till After the Game Before Searching for Prostitutes
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Everyone has their own little rituals before the big game. Whether it’s injecting performance enhancing drugs, reviewing child support payment plans, or preparing an apology for the fans you’re about to let down (looking your way, entire Cubs roster) – professional athletes know what it takes to psych themselves up. And in 1999, Atlanta Falcons star defensive player Eugene Robinson was no exception.
In what has become a very popular pre-game tradition in both the Super Bowl and Burbank Youth Soccer League, Robinson prepared for the biggest game of his life by offering a local whore (or, as they prefer to be called, “Barkley Bait”) $40 for some oral sex while his wife and children waited back at the hotel thinking about how lucky they were to have a Dad willing to forgo his marriage vows in order to get a competitive edge to put food on the table.
The plan, however, backfired and the working girl turned out to be an undercover cop. Robinson was subsequently detained for a brief period, and was given time to think about the humanitarian award he won earlier in the day and just how awful he was going to play in the upcoming hours.
For those of you who don’t remember (or put money on the Dirty Birds) Denver crushed Atlanta by two touchdowns the next day.
(Note: This is one of those stories that can be used in millions of editorials archetypes. It’s like the WD-40 of Top 10 list pieces.)
7. Justin Timberlake Got Janet Jackson Naked by the End of That Song
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In 2004, Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson had a bit of a wardrobe malfunction at the end of a previously tame dance number.
Rather than document the event or convince our legal department to allow the use of pirated video to re-live the accident, here are some quotes about it from CNN:
An estimated 140 million people were watching the show when at the end, pop star Justin Timberlake popped off part of Jackson's corset, exposing her breast. Congress quickly reacted at the time to the visual shocker by increasing the limit on indecency fines tenfold, up to $550,000 per violation per network.
What CNN didn’t note was that following the incident, Super Bowl organizers enacted an unofficial 50-year age minimum (with a Black Eyed Peas exception) for all future acts.
6. This Overtly Racist Insurance Commercial
Coming up with an entertaining Super Bowl commercial can be difficult for even the most seasoned ad executives. Making sure that your finished product doesn’t offend minorities is a little easier. Sadly, the folks at Sales Genie were unable to accomplish either.
5. The Super Bowl Shuffle
Photo: Paul Natkin/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
In today’s fast-paced interweb world, viral videos remain relevant for three, maybe four days tops (looking at you, "Chocolate Rain"). The Super Bowl Shuffle, however, has stayed atop the multimedia sports podium for over 20 years thanks to a combination of terrible lyrics and extensive jump cut editing. It’s like a Tommy Wiseau music video, but with slightly more football players.