I'd show the actual "wardrobe malfunction" but that would go against Bleacher Report's Terms of Agreement. So instead, here's the aftermath. (Photo Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly).
The weirdest Super Bowl ever had to be Super Bowl XXXVIII.
You had a first quarter where it felt like absolutely nothing happened. It really seemed like both teams' offenses were hung over at the start of the game. Neither team would score until the last two minutes of the second quarter, the longest stretch in any Super Bowl that remained scoreless. In those final two minutes, though, the teams combined to score 24 points with New England leading 14-10.
Then came halftime—more on that later. No one outside of New England really discusses the game itself anymore, which is a shame because it was a great Super Bowl, so let me have another paragraph or two to discuss it before we get to the halftime show.
There was also a streaker—Mark Roberts, a Brit who is famous for streaking at sporting events—who took the field dressed as a referee prior to the beginning of the second half while smoke and haze from the halftime show's pyrotechnics still lingered in Reliant Stadium, which had its roof closed for the game. Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham wound up tackling him to the ground, and the streaker was then arrested and fined $1,000 for the act.
In the second half, both teams would again go scoreless throughout the duration of the third quarter, but on the second play of the final period, New England's Antowain Smith would score a touchdown to put New England ahead 21-10. The fourth quarter would see another scoring explosion, as both teams scored a combined 37 points.
In the end, thanks to usually reliable Panthers kicker John Kasay kicking the ball out of bounds with the score tied at 29 with 1:08 to play, New England would get the ball at its own 40.
Brady would then lead the Patriots down to the Carolina 23. Then with a last minute 41-yard field goal, Adam Vinatieri won the game for the Patriots by the final score of 32-29.
But again, outside of New England, a game that could've been considered one of the greatest played in NFL history became a footnote to a wardrobe malfunction.
At the time both CBS and MTV were co-owned by Viacom. Since MTV still featured some music at the time, CBS and the NFL thought it would be a good idea to have MTV produce the halftime show. MTV was able to sign superstars Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson, Nelly, P. Diddy and Kid Rock to perform with a special appearance by Jessica Simpson.
Timberlake and Jackson were the finale of the show, and we all know how that turned out: wardrobe malfunction, apologies, complaints to the FCC, fines from the FCC—which would be voided years later—and an impact that was felt throughout the entertainment world—there's a good chance Howard Stern doesn't move to Sirius Satellite Radio if the FCC doesn't crack down on indecency following this incident.
From that point forward, MTV would never produce another halftime show—thank God for that, though, since MTV doesn't even play music.
The incident would become the most replayed incident on TiVo and likely also expanded sales of DVRs.
Now, I was never against the incident itself. At the time I was 20 years old, so of course I'm all for any wardrobe malfunctions. Even today, it's not something that offends my sensibilities. It's just a nipple; there are far worse things that are discussed on television daily.
What I was against was the FCC's overreaction, as well as the reaction from all of these parents groups that want the government to help raise their kids.
I'm understanding that it's football and you don't want to see nudity, and I do respect that it offends some people and that it shouldn't have happened—the airwaves are for all. While I'm usually the type who would say, "You don't like, then don't watch," this was a different situation.
This is very different from people who complain about Family Guy's tasteless jokes, Dexter's violence, or South Park's crude language; people were caught off guard by this, so I'm somewhat sympathetic to that.
But I'm only somewhat sympathetic. I hated what this did to television and radio because of everyone's overreaction, especially the Parents Television Council (Motto: We make up your mind on what your kids can watch so you don't have to, and forget everyone else).
It was really made out to be a bigger deal than what it was and was used by those in power to restrict the First Amendment.