The expectation that comes with the Super Bowl are super performances. But human nature tells us that humans will be, well, human.
Websters New College Dictionary defines blunder as "a serious mistakeusually caused by ignorance, stupidity or confusion." In sports we call it choking.
Only players and coaches directly involved in the game's outcome will find their way on this list. No Christine Agulera botching the National Anthem, no wardrobe malfunctions, or Byoncee burning out Superdome transformers here--this is FootballNation dang-gummit!
Without further adu...
10. Fred-Ex Doesn't Deliver on Super Sunday:
Freddie Mitchell, the trash-talking WR for the Philadelphia Eagles, called himself "Fred-Ex because he delivered." Appearantly, he took Super Bowl Sunday XXXIX in Jacksonville, FL.
During the Eagles' 24-17 loss to the New England Patriots, S Rodney Harrison caught more passes from QB Donovan McNabb (two INTs) than Mitchell (one reception for 11-yards).
Harrison later admitted that Mitchell's trash-talk during Super Bowl week motivated the Patriots.
The Eagles released Mitchell the following off-season.
9. Score Before You Celebrate, Leon!:
With a 52-17 lead late in the 4th quarter of Super Bowl XXVII, Dallas Cowboy DT Leon Lett scooped up a Buffalo Bill fumble (their ninth of the day) rumbled up the right sideline for a certain touchdown. But the combination of Lett show-boating, and Bill WR Don Beebe not giving on the play, led to one of the greatest blunders in Super Bowl history.
Lett held the ball at his side as he was approaching the goalline. Unbenounced to Lett, Beebe was chasing his and caught him just as put the ball to his side which caused Lett to fumble the football out of the back of the end-zone giving possession back to Buffalo.
Lett told the media after the game he saw himself on the Jumbotron and was trying to do a "Michael Irvin" (the celebration Irvin did as he scored touchdowns during his NFL career).
8. Garo Throw Pick-6:
Miami Dolphin HC Don Shula sent K Garo Yepremian into Super Bowl VII to kick a 41-yard field goal to extend their 14-0 lead over Washington with 2:07 and begin the celebration of their perfect season on the field of the LA Colliseum.
What happened next is replayed the week before every Super Bowl since and in perpetuity.
The football wound up in Yepremian's hands after the attempt was blocked by Bill Brundage. Yepremian attempted to throw a pass that sputtered helplessly in the air into the outstretched hands of CB Mike Bass who eventaully raced down the sideline for a 49-yard TD.
The Debate remains, what was worse, Yepremian's pass attempt that was ruled a fumble, his attempt to tackle Bass' vapor-print?
7. Thurmanator Losses His Helmet:
Bills Hall of Fame RB Thurman Thomas could not find his helmet at the start of Super Bowl XXVI versus the D.C. football team in Super Bowl XXVI in Minneapolis, MN.
Legend has it that Thomas placed his helmet at the 34-yard-line as part of his pre-game ritual. Thomas' helmet got misplaced during the hoopla of the Super Bowl pre-game festivities.
Thomas went on to have perhaps his worst game a Pro (13-yards on 10 attempts), and everyone from a stagehand-to-backup RB Kenneth Davis-to HOF DE Bruce Smithadmitting in is acceptance speech that he hid Thomas' helmet.
6. Oh-No Buffalo:
The Bills, making thier third Super Bowl appearance in a row at this point, committed nine turnovers enroute to receiving a 52-17 trouncing from the Dallsa Cowboys in Super Bowl XXVII.
Buffalo would reach Super Bowl XXVIII for an unprecidented fourth time only to lose to Dalls again.
While this victory was a coronation of The Triplets--HOF QB Troy Aikman, RB Emmett Smith and Irvin--and their first of three championships in four years.
5. Did Calahan Tank Super Bowl?:
A year removed from losing to the New England Patriots in the AFC-Dvisional Playoffs in the "Tuck-Rule" game, the Oakland Raidersadvanced to Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego, and their coach (John Gruden) was the HC for Tampa Bay. The Raiders hire Bill Callihan to replace him.
The problem for Oakland was Gruden knew them inside-out, and Callahan didn't adjust. Gruden and S John Lynch said as much in America's Game: The 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Result: Oakland QB Rich Gannon served up five INTs to the Bucc's defense and they returned three of them for TDs inrout to a 48-21 super-thrashing.
And Al Davis had to officially throw away that "Just Win, BABY" banner.
4. Kasey Flubs Kickoff:
Kicker Jon Kasey shanked the insuing kickoff out of bounds giving the Patriots excellent field position and over 1:00 to drive for the game-winning field goal.
QB Tom Brady drove New England 26 yards in 6 plays setting up K Adam Vinatieri for the walk-off 41-yard field goal.
Vinatieri nailed it and Brady was named MVP for the second time.
3. Neil O'Don-no:
Despite holding Aikman to 209-yards passing, Smith to 49-yards on 18 rushes, and Irvin to 76 yards on five catches, and outgaining the Cowboys 201-61 in total yards in the second half, Steeler QB Neil O'Donnell made Dallas CB Larry Brown the MVP by gift-wrapping two INTs to him. Smith parlayed them into two TD runs (1-yd, 4-yd) to seal Dallas' third Lombardi trophy in four years.
O'Donnell went on to steal money from the New York Jets to the tune of 5-years $25 million (O'Donnell played in Gotham for only two of those seasons before bill Parcells gave him his walking papers in 1998).
Brown went on to pillege the Raiders for five-years $12.5 million.
2. "He's Got to be the Sickest Man In America":
Trailing 21-14 late in the third quarter, Roger Staubach, on third-and-3 from the Steeler 10-yard line, found TE Jackie Smith wide open in the middle of the end zone.The 38-year-old backup slid, and the ball hit him right in the chest, then bounced off him.
The drop prompted then-Cowboy play-by-play announcer Verne Lundquist to bellow, "bless his heart, he's got to be the sickest man in America."
Down to the New york Giants 29-19 late in the fourth quarter, HOF QB Jim Kelly led the Bills on 9-play 61-yard drive in 2:08 setting K Scott Norwood up for a 47-yd walk-off field goal (:08 away from the Bills kicking the sticky-Lombardi).
The rest we know is history, Norwood missed it wide-right, Bill Clinton played the sax on Arsenio Hall before getting elected POTUS, and Buffalo eventually joined the Minnesota Vikings as the only NFL franchises to loose four Super Bowls.
Chime in, what blunder do you think should be included on this list?