Late in the fourth quarter of 1993's Super Bowl XXVII, Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Leon Lett recovered the Buffalo Bills' fumble. As he headed for the end zone, he slowed down to gloat, sticking the ball out as he neared the goal line. What he didn't see was Don Beebe, who knocked the football out of Lett's hand, costing him the touchdown and causing him endless embarrassment. Fortunately, 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.
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.
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.
With two minutes to go in 1973's Super Bowl VII, the Miami Dolphins, up 14-0 on the Washington Redskins, elected to kick a field goal to ice the game. Yepremian's kick, however, was blocked by Bill Brundige and came directly back at him. Instead of falling on the ball, Yepremian frantically tried to pass, only for the ball to slip from his hands and land in the arms of the Skins' Mike Bass, who returned it for a touchdown. Fortunately for Yepremian, the Dolphins held on for the win to become the only team in NFL history to complete a perfect season (sorry, Pats!).
2004's Super Bowl XXXVIII between the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers looked like it was going to be the first Super Bowl to go into overtime after Kasay's extra point tied the game 29-29 with a little more than a minute left. However, on the ensuing kickoff, Kasay, one of the league's most reliable kickers, booted the ball out of bounds, giving the Pats the ball on their 40-yard line. Tom Brady and Adam Vinatieri did their thing, and the Pats won their second Super Bowl in three years 32-29.
Dude, where's my helmet? The Buffalo Bills' star running back had a pre-game ritual of placing his helmet on the 34-yard line (his jersey number), but when Thomas went to retrieve it before the start of Super Bowl XXVI in 1992 vs. the Washington Redskins, it was gone. (The helmet was reportedly moved to set up for Harry Connick, Jr.'s performance of the national anthem.) Thomas missed the first two plays, both of which were runs, setting the tone for the rest of the game. He ended up rushing only 13 yards on 10 carries in the Bills' 37-24 loss.
The Oakland Raiders quarterback went into the record books for all the wrong reasons at Super Bowl XXXVII. Gannon threw a record five interceptions during the game, three of which were returned for touchdowns by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 48-21 victory. Even worse? Gannon was the reigning league MVP.
It's probably not a good idea to play football with a broken hand, but that didn't stop White from trying in 1979's Super Bowl XIII. After the Pittsburgh Steelers' Roy Gerela slipped while kicking off to the Dallas Cowboys in the third quarter, the ball bounced right to White on the 24-yard line. White, who was wearing a cast on his left hand, was hit by Tony Dungy, causing a fumble, which was recovered by the Steelers for a touchdown. The Steelers went on to win 35-31.
On the night before Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999, the Atlanta Falcons safety was arrested by an undercover female officer posing as a prostitute after he solicited oral sex for $40. Robinson was released for the big game, but turned in an atrocious performance, giving up an 80-yard touchdown reception to the Denver Broncos and missing a key tackle in the fourth quarter that led to the Broncos' 34-19 win. Ironically, Robinson was awarded the Barr Star Award the morning of his arrest for his "high moral character."
The league MVP was anything but during Super Bowl III in 1969. Morrall, who led the Baltimore Colts to a 13-1 record in the regular season after replacing an injured Johnny Unitas, went 6-for-17 for 71 yards and threw three interceptions vs. the New York Jets. The worst one came in the second quarter: Morrall inexplicably did not see a wide open Jimmy Orr waving his arms in the end zone, and his short throw down the middle was picked off. He was later replaced by Unitas, who led the Colts to its only touchdown of the game. It was not enough to stop the Jets from pulling off the upset 16-7 -- and thus making Joe Namath's bold prediction come true.