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Look back at the greatest moments in the history of football's biggest game

Shaun Harrison
1 of 19 Andy Lyons/Getty Images

David Tyree's Helmet Catch

In 2008, all it took was one giant leap for a helmet catch for the New York Giants to deny the New England Patriots a perfect season and its fourth Super Bowl win in seven years. Trailing 14-10 with 2:42 left during Super Bowl XLII, Giants quarterback Eli Manning chucked a long pass to David Tyree, who somehow managed to catch the ball by holding it against his helmet. The 32-yard completion helped the Giants unfurl a last-minute come-from-behind 17-14 victory with 35 seconds left.
2 of 19 MPS/


Now this is what you call putting on a show. At the end of the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, Justin Timberlake tore off part of Janet Jackson's costume — he did say he'd have her "naked by the end of this song" — revealing a nipple shield over her right breast. And thus commenced Nipplegate, an FCC crackdown, and the introduction of "wardrobe malfunction" into our everyday vernacular.
3 of 19 David Drapkin/Getty Images

Tony Dungy Becomes First Black Coach to Win the Super Bowl

History was made during Super Bowl XLI in 2007 when, for the first time, two African-American head coaches faced off: Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears and Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts. Dungy became the first to win when the Colts defeated the Bears 29-17.
4 of 19 Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Vince Lombardi Is Carried Off the Field

In what would become one of the most iconic and enduring images in Super Bowl history, legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi was carried off the field by his team following its 33-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders at Super Bowl II in 1968. It would be Lombardi's last game as the Packers head coach.
5 of 19 Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Joe Montana's Lengthy Last-Minute Drive

Talk about clutch. Trailing 16-13 against the Cincinnati Bengals with 30 seconds left in 1989's Super Bowl XXIII, San Francisco 49er quarterback Joe Montana hurled a shot to wide receiver John Taylor, who caught it and scrambled into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown. It was the first time a quarterback had driven the length of the field for a winning touchdown in the final minute of a Super Bowl.
6 of 19 George Rose/Getty Images

Michael Jackson Changes the Halftime Game

Like he did with almost everything he attempted, Michael Jackson took the halftime show to a new level at Super Bowl XXVII. His 1993 medley of "Jam," Billie Jean," Black or White" and "Heal The World" is most remembered for the 3,500 children surrounding Jackson as he sang his closing number. The performance received a higher Nielsen rating than the game itself, which shifted all the networks' mentalities about what a halftime show should be.
7 of 19 Gin Ellis/Getty Images

Scott Norwood's Missed Field Goal

Suffice it to say, the Buffalo Bills don't have the best legacy in football. After all, the Bills are the only team to lose four straight Super Bowls. Things would be much different, however, had kicker Scott Norwood converted on a 47-yard field goal in the final seconds of 1991's Super Bowl XXV. Instead, his kick flew wide right and the New York Giants squeaked by with 20-19 victory.
8 of 19 Kevin Mazur/WireImage

U2's 9/11 Tribute

Two years before Janet Jackson forever changed the conversation about Super Bowl halftime shows, the legendary Irish rockers paid tribute to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that happened only four months earlier at Super Bowl XXXVI. After opening with "Beautiful Day," the band transitioned to "Where the Streets Have No Name," as the names of victims scrolled on a screen behind him. Bono eventually ripped open his jacket to show a stars-and-stripes lining. Subtle it wasn't, but it was touching for a nation still in mourning.
9 of 19 Robert Riger/Getty Images

Swann Lake

It was Swann Lake on the football field at Super Bowl X in 1976 when Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann made a graceful acrobatic leap to complete a 53-yard pass despite tripping over Dallas Cowboys' cornerback Mark Washington. Swann caught four passes for a Super Bowl record 161 yards and one touchdown in the Steelers' 21-17 victory and was named MVP.
10 of 19 George Rose/Getty Images

Whitney Sings the National Anthem

R&B diva Whitney Houston delivered one of the most memorable renditions of "The Star-Spangled Banner" in history during the pre-game ceremonies of 1991's Super Bowl XXV. Backed by the Florida Orchestra, Houston's powerful voice soared, and the performance was later released as a single. The track reached No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Houston the only artist to have a hit with the national anthem.
11 of 19 Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Jackie Smith's Dropped Pass

Lured out of retirement by the Dallas Cowboys, tight end Jackie Smith made his first trip to the big game at Super Bowl XIII in 1979, but it would prove to be a bittersweet one. Trailing the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-14 in the third quarter, quarterback Roger Staubach fired a catchable pass to Smith. He dropped it and the Cowboys settled for a field goal, ultimately losing 35-31.
12 of 19 Donald Miralle/Getty Images

The Boss Gets Up Close and Personal

After Nipplegate, organizers did away with risqué performers of the Timberlake and Jackson ilk, opting for "safer" artists like Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band — or so they thought. During the Super Bowl XLIII halftime show in 2009, The Boss gave viewers at home a nice close-up of his crotch after power-sliding into a camera at the end of "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out." Nuts, right?
13 of 19 Al Bello/Getty Images

Larry Brown's Interceptions

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Larry Brown took the MVP crown at Super Bowl XXX in 1996 — deservedly so after recording two interceptions for a total of 77 yards that lifted the Cowboys to a 27-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Brown was the first cornerback to win the MVP award and the first defensive back since 1973.
14 of 19 Peter Read Miller/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

Leon Lett's Premature Celebration

Late in the fourth quarter of 1993's Super Bowl XXVII, Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Leon Lett recovered the Buffalo Bills' fumble. As he was running for the end zone, he slowed to gloat, sticking the ball out as he neared the goal line. What he didn't see was a hustling Don Beebe, who knocked the football out of Lett's hand, costing him the touchdown and causing him endless embarassment. The play didn't cost Dallas the game (they won 52-17), but it did keep the team from setting the record for most points scored in a Super Bowl.
15 of 19 Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The Kings of Rock and Pop

This MTV-produced mashup at Super Bowl XXXV honored the spectacle of of the event with rock legends Aerosmith, but the bubblegum pop that dominated the music channel's airwaves in 2001 was also front and center. 'N Sync performed "Bye Bye Bye" and "It's Gonna Be Me") before Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and Nelly also got in on Aerosmith's closing number, "Walk this Way."
16 of 19 Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Prince Rocks the House

Three years after Nipplegate, choosing a sexually charged artist like Prince could have gone either way. But he tore through some of his classics ("Let's Go Crazy," "1999"), as well as a Jimi Hendrix cover with high-energy improvisations at Super Bowl XLI. And he even poked a little fun at the overcautious broadcasters, as he performed his "Purple Rain" finale in suggestive silhouette, thanks to some strategic guitar placement.
17 of 19 /Doug Collier/AFP/Getty Images

John Elway Finally Wins a Super Bowl

After three failed attempts, legendary quarterback John Elway led the Denver Broncos to a win over the defending champions, the Green Bay Packers, in 1998's Super Bowl XXXII. Although Elway completed only 11 of 22 passes and threw no touchdowns, he got his first championship ring. Luckily, the Broncos repeated the following year, and Elway, who threw for 336 yards and scored two touchdowns, was named MVP before retiring.
18 of 19 Allen Kee/Getty Images

Adam Vinatieri's Game-Winning Field Goal

With 1:30 left on the clock and no timeouts remaining at Super Bowl XXVI in 2002, the New England Patriots decided not to settle for overtime and drove the field in a hurry. With seven seconds left, Pats placekicker Adam Vinatieri booted a 48-yard field goal to beat the St. Louis Rams 20-17. It was the first time a Super Bowl was decided by the last play in regulation. He kicked another Super Bowl-winner two years later against the Carolina Panthers, making him the only player in history to be the deciding factor in two championship games.
19 of 19 NFL

The Super Bowl Gets Iced