The first Gulf War didn't have the same type of overarching, national tragedy feel to it that 9/11 did, but at the time, there were serious concerns about the safety of Americans both at home and those abroad serving in the military.
So, with Operation Desert Storm only 10 days old, American patriotism was already peaking—especially since, in some ways, the Super Bowl is always a supremely patriotic even. That very week, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue compared the Super Bowl to "the winter version of the Fourth of July celebration."
But all of that patriotism and pride reached a new level, one that perhaps no other American sports scene has ever experienced, prior to the Bills and Giants kickoff Super Bowl XXV on January 27, 1991.
Just before F-16s flew over a stadium filled with more than 70,000 fans holding miniature American flags, Whitney Houston delivered the "Star-Spangled Banner" with such zeal and passion that it brought players, coaches and fans to tears. It remains the most famous performance of America's national anthem of all-time.
Given the newness of the war (America's first in a generation) and the uncertainty that awaited, Houston's performance of the song just resonated so closely with so many Americans that it will forever be linked to that event and, in a way, the Super Bowl itself.