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CONVERGE | Entertainment

Best of the Super Bowl: Commercials, Performances and Victories

January 31, 2020

Relive some of the best moments in Super Bowl history.

Since 1967, the Super Bowl has managed to shock and entertain audiences with spectacular plays, amazing halftime performances and epic commercial breaks on cable TV. Relive Super Bowl history with this list of 13 unforgettable moments. 

1. 1984: Apple’s 1984 Commercial 

Apple introduced its Apple Macintosh personal computer by releasing a commercial based on George Orwell’s novel, “1984.” The ad illustrated the work’s dystopian future with a heroine attempting to save humanity from conformity. The powerful images made it one of the best commercials in history. 

2. 1986: The Fridge Scores a Touchdown

Chicago Bears’ defensive end, William “Refrigerator” Perry, lined up as fullback to score a 1-yard touchdown by barreling into the end zone. This powerful play made him a cult hero. 

3. 1987: The Gatorade Bath Tradition Begins

The New York Giants beat the Broncos 39 to 20 and decided to celebrate by pouring the icy-cold contents of a cooler over their coach’s head. Thanks to this moment, Gatorade baths are still a tradition today. 

4. 1991: Whitney Houston’s Iconic Star-Spangled Banner Performance

Just after the onset of the Persian Gulf War, Whitney Houston took to the stage to belt out “The Star-Spangled Banner.” She not only nailed the performance, but also became the only singer to turn the song into a top-20 single and a pop hit. She donated all the proceeds to the soldiers of the Gulf War and their families.  

5. 1993: Michael Jackson Pulls a Stunt

No one can forget Michael Jackson’s iconic halftime introduction in 1993. The pop star faked out the audience with a look-alike before appearing on stage. He remained frozen in place for an entire minute and a half before delivering a performance of a lifetime. 

6. 2000: One Yard Short

With only six seconds remaining in the game, The Rams pulled off their first Super Bowl victory against the Tennessee Titans. Linebacker Mike Jones tackled wide receiver Kevin Dyson just a few feet from the goal line and won the game. 

7. 2004: Janet Jackson’s Wardrobe Malfunction

During one of the most shocking halftime performances in history, Justin Timberlake accidentally pulled off part of Janet Jackson’s costume. We all know what happened next, as it was aired on live TV to more than 140 million people. It was not taken lightly. The revealing moment sparked outrage and forced the FCC to create stricter policies around indecency. 

8. 2005: The Puppy Bowl Debuts

In 2005, Animal Planet decided to give viewers something else to watch besides the Super Bowl by creating The Puppy Bowl, a program featuring puppies doing adorable puppy things. Since then, the show has continued to air, complete with its own kitten halftime show, attracting millions of viewers every year. 

9. 2007: Prince Sings Purple Rain in the Rain 

Super Bowl XLI took place in Miami during a downpour. Most people in charge were worried about the halftime show and the danger of wet electrical equipment, but Prince was ready to hit the stage regardless. The pop star sang Purple Rain in front of 70,000 fans, letting the showers elevate his performance to become one of the Super Bowl’s most magical.

10. 2008: Santonio Holmes's Toe Touchdown 

In 2008, Santonio Holmes secured the Pittsburg Steelers a record sixth Super Bowl. He grabbed a 6-yard touchdown pass while balancing on his toes just barely within bounds, and won the game with only a minute left on the clock. 

11. 2013: The Blackout Bowl

The second half of Super Bowl XLVII broke out in chaos when a partial power outage left the New Orleans’s Superdome without any lights. It took 34 minutes to regain power, giving the marketing crew at Oreo just enough time to take advantage. They promptly hopped on Twitter and tweeted the words, “You can still dunk in the dark.” The statement was retweeted over 10,000 times in one hour. 

12. 2015: Left Shark Takes Center Stage

It’s not every day a pop star gets upstaged by her backup dancers, but that’s exactly what happened to Katy Perry in 2015. During her performance of Teenage Dream, she was joined by two backup dancers dressed as sharks. While she pulled out all the stunts, including making an entrance on a mechanical lion, singing a duet with Lenny Kravitz and flying over the stadium on a shooting star, fans seemed more focused on the left shark awkwardly flailing about behind her. #Leftshark was the only thing the internet was buzzing about after that performance. 

13. 2017: Lady Gaga Jumps from a Rooftop and Tom Brady Makes History

In 2017, Lady Gaga’s halftime performance brought in more viewership than the game itself. Around 11.7 million viewers tuned in to watch the singer jump onto the stage from the roof of the NRG stadium. It was the second most-watched halftime show ever (Katy Perry’s was the first), though not the only impressive performance of the day. During the game’s second half, Atlanta led by four touchdowns until Tom Brady surprised everyone with one of the biggest comebacks in Super Bowl history. He scored 25 points, and sent the game into overtime for the first time ever. 

The 2020 Super Bowl is quickly approaching, and you won’t to miss what this year has in store. As sport’s most-watched event, it’s bound to have a shocking moment or two. Cox TV customers can check out the Super Bowl live on the Fox network, Sunday, February 2. (Just don’t forget the snacks.)

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