25 Craziest Super Bowl Week Moments

Brian WrightCorrespondent IIJanuary 29, 2012

25 Craziest Super Bowl Week Moments

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    What happens away from the field leading up to the Super Bowl is almost more intriguing than that big game itself.

    In the 45 years of pro football's end-of-year contest, this annual circus-like atmosphere creates some outrageous moments.

    Here are 25 notable events that took place on the outskirts of the skirmish that determines the world champion.

Namath Guarantees Victory

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    The former New York Jets quarterback became the first great commercial athlete out of pro football.

    With his rebellious personality and powerful right arm, "Broadway Joe" was a national celebrity. Namath made many bold statements...none bigger than the one uttered at a banquet on the Thursday prior to Super Bowl III.

    Namath guaranteed victory for his Jets, representing the supposedly weaker American Football League, against the mighty Baltimore Colts of the NFL.

    New York went into the game as 18-point underdogs, but game MVP Namath helped engineer one of the biggest upsets of all time with a 16-7 victory.

Different Type of Blowout

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    Many players like to get a good night's sleep on the night before the biggest game of their lives.

    Cincinnati Bengals running back Stanley Wilson had a less-than-successful mode of preparation for Super Bowl XXIII.

    Instead of going to the final team meeting, Wilson went on a cocaine bender and was found high by his position coach, Jim Anderson.

    It was his third relapse, which banned him from the NFL for life. The Bengals went on to lose 20-16 to the 49ers.

Duane's Doubts

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    Duane Thomas was a man of few words. In fact, he rarely spoke to the media. 

    The Dallas running back created most of his noise by rushing for 95 yards and a touchdown in the Cowboys' win over Miami.

    Without question, his most famous line from that week came when he deadpanned this statement: "If it's the ultimate (game), how come they're playing it again next year?"

No Chance in a Spelling Bee

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    Super Bowl XIII didn't need any more storylines, as it was a rematch of a classic just three years earlier. 

    But a quirky Dallas linebacker decided to stir the pot.

    Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson was convinced of Terry Bradshaw's lack of intelligence, stating that the Steelers' QB couldn't spell cat if spotted the 'c' and the 't.' 

    Two things are certain. Game MVP Bradshaw was smart enough to thrash the Cowboys defense and in a 35-31 win and is able to count to four. That's the number of rings that are in his possession.

    Joe Montana is the only other quarterback who can match that.

Yo, Adrian

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    When you're on the injured reserve list and are unable to participate in practices and game preparation, you have plenty of time on your hands.

    Adrian Awasom didn't use that time wisely. The backup defensive end of the New York Giants was arrested on the suspicion of "extreme DUI," or double the legal limit.

    The team sent him home, where he watched the Giants stun the previously unbeaten Patriots, 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII.

Dawson Accused of Ties with Gamblers

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    On the Tuesday before Super Bowl IV, reports surfaced that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson was among several players that would be summoned to testify at a federal investigation into sports gambling.

    This didn't faze Dawson, as he was 12-of-17 for 142 yards in K.C.'s upset over Minnesota.

    He eventually was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Not Hotlanta

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    Super Bowl XXXIV, between the St. Louis Rams and Tennessee Titans, turned into one of the best in the game's history.

    But the story in the week leading up to the contest was the weather.

    An ice storm in a place not accustomed to winter-weather preparedness made Atlanta a treacherous region at an inopportune time.

Where's My Helmet?

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    Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas lost his head (and his helmet) at the start of Super Bowl XXVI against Washington.

    Thomas found his all-important piece of equipment, but missed Buffalo's first offensive possession.

    That set the tone for the remainder of the contest. The Bills appeared out of sorts in their 37-24 loss to the Redskins.

Rich and Famous

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    The Super Bowl has had its share of fans turned gate-crashers.

    Most notable of them all is Dion Rich, who has sneaked into more than 30 of them, among other events.

    He was in the locker room for the presentation of the winner's trophy after Super Bowl I. In addition, he carried off Tom Landry after the Cowboys triumphed over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII at the Superdome.

Full Moon

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    Jim McMahon could have had a countdown of his own in the time leading up to Super Bowl XX.

    The Chicago Bears were a colorful group...and their quarterback was the most colorful.

    His most revealing moment came during a team practice when McMahon mooned a TV helicopter that was hovering over the field.

Going Downtown

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    MTV DJ "Downtown" Julie Brown regularly frequented the Super Bowl Media Day in the 1990s.

    One encounter came with Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson, in which Brown inquired about fashion.

    "Speaking of fashion," Johnson said. "I'm a single guy and you are making me a little nervous."

    Brown was later asked by Johnson who she was pulling for in Super Bowl XXVII. "I'm for the Cowboys because they have all the young guys and they'll know who I am."

Barret MIA

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    The most mysterious moment came courtesy of Barret Robbins, an expected participant of the Oakland Raiders' offensive line at Super Bowl XXXVI in San Diego. 

    Instead of getting ready to face the vaunted Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense, Robbins disappeared from the team hotel on Saturday and went on a drinking binge in Tijuana, Mexico.

    He was so incoherent that he actually thought his Raiders had already won the game.

    Upon being found, Robbins was sent home. Oakland got crushed by Tampa, 48-21.

Winter Wonderland in Big D

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    Indianapolis hopes it doesn't have to go through the same weather issues that Dallas suffered last year.

    A major winter storm passed over the area around Cowboys Stadium in the week prior to Super Bowl XLV.

    The weather didn't come and go without destruction. Six people were injured when snow fell from the roof of the luxurious area's east end on Feb. 4.

Nice Comeback

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    TV Azteca's Ines Gomez caused a stir at Super Bowl XLII, wearing a white wedding gown and doing what any young woman would like to do if they had the chance: ask Tom Brady to marry her.

    "I'm the real Miss Brady," Gomez stated.

    The Pats' QB, who has fathered children with Gisele Bundchen and Bridget Moynahan, countered: "I've got a few Miss Bradys in my life."

Bad Timing

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    Eugene Robinson experienced one of the strangest twists of irony in NFL history. As his Atlanta Falcons were one day away from playing in Super Bowl XXXIII, Robinson was given the Bart Starr Award, an honor for a player who displays high moral character.

    Unfortunately for the safety, the credibility he gained by obtaining that award vanished soon after.

    That same evening, Robinson was arrested by an undercover female police officer posing as a prostitute as he offered her $40 for oral sex.

    Robinson's performance on the field the next evening wasn't much better, as his blown coverage allowed Denver Broncos receiver Rod Smith to haul in an 80-yard touchdown reception.

Gotta Have Faith

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    Reggie White, as much an ordained minister as he was a defensive end, practiced his preaching to the media in the days leading up to Super Bowl XXXI.

    He explained the crucifixion of Jesus Christ this way: "He was healing the sick, and the doctors got mad. He was raising the dead, and all the funeral-home directors got mad."

    White made some noise on the field, notching three sacks in Green Bay's victory.

Fan Unrest

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    Weather wasn't the only issue in Dallas' first hosting of the big game.

    Due to the delays, 1,250 temporary seats at Cowboys Stadium were not able to be ready in time for the contest. Therefore, numerous fans were left without a place to sit in Jerry Jones' cathedral.

    For 850 of the fans, they were relocated throughout the stadium. For 400 others, they were given a refund that was three times as much as the face value of their ticket and were offered to watch the game on monitors in the club seats behind the Pittsburgh Steelers' bench. 

Ray Lewis' Infamous Moment

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    Ray Lewis has a sterling reputation as a football player. But this off-the-field moment still clouds his legacy slightly.

    At a Super Bowl XXXIV party, the future Hall of Fame linebacker was involved in a brawl that resulted in the stabbing death of two men.

    Eleven days later, Lewis and his two male friends were indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges.

    Eventually, Lewis was acquitted of murder charges but was convicted of obstruction of justice.

The Hangover, Part I

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    In the first-ever NFL-AFL Championship game, better known as Super Bowl I, top Packer wideout Boyd Dowler came out with a shoulder injury.

    That forced head coach Vince Lombardi to call on Max McGee for more playing time—the same McGee who didn't expect to see the field much, and spent the previous night breaking curfew and throwing down a few too many alcoholic beverages. 

    Hungover or not, McGee was superb in Dowler's place. His first reception was a one-handed catch that wound up being a 37-yard touchdown and the first such score in Super Bowl history.

    At game's end, he had seven receptions for 138 yards and two TDs in Green Bay's 35-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Super Bowl IV Madness

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    The Super Bowl's first venture in "The Big Easy" was anything but.

    Pregame festivities included the release of more than 20,000 balloons along with 3,000 birds, nearly causing a mid-air catastrophe reminiscent of an Alfred Hitchcock film. 

    Later, a hot-air balloon holding a Viking mascot went out of control, failing to gain altitude and crashing into the stands near the end zone.

Not a Magical Joke

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    The Buffalo Bills were ready for a whale of a fight against the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XXVII, held at the Rose Bowl. Darryl Talley got a taste of that well before kickoff.

    The linebacker ran into Magic Johnson at Roxbury, a famous Sunset Boulevard locale. Talley ribbed the NBA legend, HIV positive no less, for being at the club.

    Magic's bodyguard wasn't laughing. He punched Talley in the face.

    Talley's Bills were the victims of a total knockout, getting smothered 52-17.

Ray vs. Shannon

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    Two of the game's best trash talkers went at it over the course of the week leading up to Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami. 

    Falcons defensive back Ray Buchanan visibly embraced the underdog role by wearing a rhinestone dog collar to media day. He then barked at Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe.

    "You can't tell me he doesn't look like Mr. Ed," Buchanan said.

    Sharpe, of course, wasn't going to go unheard.

    "Tell Ray to put the eyeliner, the lipstick and the high heels away," he stated. "I'm not saying he's a cross-dresser, that's just what I heard."

Hammer Time

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    There's a first for everything. The first taunt in Super Bowl history came courtesy of Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Fred Williamson (aka "The Hammer").

    Refusing to heed the words of head coach Hank Stram to not speak out, Williamson vowed to lay out Green Bay Packers receivers Carroll Dale and Boyd Dowler.

    He did get to Boyd Dowler, but Williamson got the worst blow. He was knocked out of the game trying to tackle running back Donnie Anderson.

The Hangover, Part II

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    Oakland Raiders defensive end John Matuszak was nothing if not a character. It wasn't surprising that he took a try at acting after his playing career came to a close.

    But it was no act when he stayed out way past curfew (3 a.m., to be exact). This came just a day after he was quoted, "I'm going to see that there's no funny business. I've had enough parties for 20 people's lifetimes. I'll keep our young fellows out of trouble."

How Long Have You Been a Black Quarterback?

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    According to urban legend, that was the question posed to Redskins quarterback Doug Williams on the week prior to Super Bowl XXII.

    Regardless of if it's true, Williams made the real headlines.

    After going 18-of-29 for 340 yards for four touchdowns and engineering the most explosive quarter in Super Bowl history, all reporters could ask was, "How does it feel to be MVP?"