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Top Unprecedented Moments in Super Bowl History

February 02, 2023

As Super Bowl LVII approaches, let's look back at these truly once-in-a-lifetime moments in history.

Super Bowl LVII will kick off at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The big game will air on Fox and Fox Deportes (in Spanish) and will be available in 4k on Cox Contour Channel 4001 with compatible equipment.

Since the first Super Bowl took place on Jan. 15, 1967, there have been some unprecedented moments in the game's history. Here are some of the best — and most surprising — plays from recent Super Bowls. Just say ""NFL" or "Superbowl" in your Contour Voice remote to rewatch these plays and find more great NFL content in the SportsZone.
The Longest Play in Super Bowl History
Jacoby Jones had a strong first half during Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3, 2013. He caught a 56-yard touchdown pass, and the Baltimore Ravens took a 21-6 lead over the San Francisco 49ers into halftime.
What kind of pep talk did Jones get in the locker room, knowing he'd return the opening kickoff in the second half?
“I'm watching Beyonce on the monitor," Jones told the National Vintage League podcast. “I wasn't even paying attention to the play call."
Turns out it didn't matter. Jones took the kick 108 yards for a score to open the second half. It's the longest play the Super Bowl has ever seen.
An Entire Stadium Blackout
Later in the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVII, the Ravens offense were on the sideline. Suddenly, the power in half of the stadium went out, caused by equipment failure.
For 34 minutes, players, coaches and more than 71,000 fans were left in the dark. When play resumed, the 49ers scored 17 straight points. The Ravens managed to thwart the comeback attempt, winning 34-31.
This Super Bowl is also the only time two brothers — John Harbaugh (Ravens) and Jim Harbaugh (49ers) — have coached against each other. Still no word on who has the cooler dad den, though.
A 100-Yard "Immaculate Interception" Return
The final minute before halftime is a prime opportunity to gain momentum. One team can score, and if they get the ball back to start the second half, it can mean a huge swing.
The Arizona Cardinals faced that situation in Super Bowl XLIII on Feb. 1, 2009. They were trailing the Pittsburgh Steelers 10-7 with 16 seconds remaining in the first half, two yards away from the goal. At the very least, they could tie the game going into intermission, then have a chance to take the lead in the third quarter.
Instead, Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner threw a quick pass that Steelers linebacker James Harrison intercepted. Harrison, aided by a wall of teammates blocking for him, returned it 100 yards for the score. This “Immaculate Interception" proved to be a vital play, as the Steelers won 27-23.
Harrison was so gassed, he rested in the end zone for a couple of minutes. And if you really want to feel the burn, watch Larry Fitzgerald (No. 11 on the Cardinals) run toward, around and through people to try and stop Harrison from scoring.
A Catch Made With a Helmet
If a play has its own name, it's unlike anything we've seen before. Say the words “Helmet Catch" to any football fan — they'll know exactly what you're talking about.
In Super Bowl XLII on Feb. 3, 2008, the New York Giants trailed the New England Patriots with 1:15 remaining. The Patriots hadn't lost a game all year and were 75 seconds away from becoming the league's first 19-0 team.
Eli Manning and David Tyree had other plans. On 3rd and 5, the Patriots' defense surrounded Manning, but he spun out of a sack, planted his feet and threw the ball high downfield.
Tyree leaped up and grabbed the ball with both hands. Patriots safety Rodney Harrison held one of Tyree's arms in an effort to knock the ball loose. Tyree used his head — quite literally — and pinned the ball against his helmet. He held on for a 32-yard gain, and the Giants scored the game-winning touchdown a few seconds later.
That catch turned out to be the last one Tyree ever made in the NFL. He later became the director of player development for the Giants. Perhaps “Helmet Catching 101" is a required training.
Super Bowl 2023 should bring us plenty of excitement, fun parties and a new NFL champion. If we're really lucky, we'll see a truly special moment we'll remember for years to come.
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