Sunday's partial blackout in the Superdome was unprecedented for a Super Bowl, but unexpected incidents like it are becoming a trend in perhaps the world's biggest annual sporting event.
Feb. 3, 2013, New Orleans, La.
A power outage sent the Mercedes-Benz Superdome into darkness at Super Bowl XLVII, causing a 33-minute delay and leading to awkward television coverage of people standing around, waiting and stretching. For a while, the delay appeared to favor the San Francisco 49ers, who trailed 28-6 at the time. San Francisco went on to score 17 unanswered points, but the Baltimore Ravens held on to win, 34-31.
Feb. 5, 2012, Indianapolis, Ind.
Madonna headlined the halftime show at Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium with a small village of guest stars, including Cee Lo Green, LMFAO and a marching band. The most memorable guest proved to be M.I.A., who flipped her middle finger at the camera during the performance. After the game, NBC and the NFL apologized for the "inappropriate" behavior. On the field, the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots, 21-17.
Feb 6, 2011, Arlington, Texas.
You would figure that a ticket would guarantee you a seat to the game. At Super Bowl XLV in Cowboys Stadium, we learned otherwise. NFL deemed the seats of 400 ticketholders' seats "unusable" with no available replacement seats. Some of displaced fans watched the game, in which the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25, on a television underneath the stands. Some fans sued, asking for $5 million in damages.
Feb. 6, 2011
At the same Super Bowl, singer Christina Aguilera mangled parts of the national anthem. Aguilera addressed it, telling the Associated Press, "I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through." So, did America forgive and forget? Of course not -- the botched performance became the source of the "Wrong Lyrics Christina" meme, picturing her with a variety of incorrect lyrics.
Feb. 4, 2007, Miami Gardens, Fla.
Before there was darkness, there was rain. The Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears, 29-17, in Super Bowl XLI, but had to do it in the first-ever rain-soaked Super Bowl in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Colts, who normally play in a dome, didn't seem to be fazed, but fans were. Attendees fled to covered concourses or just left early.
Feb. 1, 2004, Houston, Texas
Few incidents have reached the level of the infamous "wardrobe malfunction." At the end of the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show, Justin Timberlake ripped off a piece of Janet Jackson's outfit, exposing one of her breasts on live television. The aftermath tore a hole in the fabric of popular culture, leading to widespread awareness of exactly what a nipple shield was, and a string of older, more predictable musical acts in the following years.
Oh, and the game: the New England Patriots beat the Carolina Panthers, 32-29.
Jan. 25, 2003, San Diego, Calif.
The Raiders were one day away from playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Oakland center Barret Robbins was nowhere to be found. Robbins had not only skipped town, but skipped the country entirely, partying in nearby Tijuana, Mexico. Robbins was on suicide watch in a psychiatric ward on Super Bowl Sunday. The lineman held himself responsible for the 48-21 Buccaneers romp.
Additionally, Raiders players have recently accused coach Bill Callahan of throwing the entire game.
Jan. 26, 1992, Minneapolis, Minn.
Buffalo Bills running back Thurman Thomas took off his helmet before walking onto the field for the coin toss at Super Bowl XXVI and then couldn't find it. Thomas and his swiftly formed search party didn't find it until the Bills' third offensive play of the game. Similarly, the Bills couldn't get on the scoreboard until the third quarter and lost, 37-24, to the Washington Redskins, just as Lisa Simpson predicted.
Jan. 24, 1982, Pontiac, Mich.
A bus with San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh, quarterback Joe Montana and half the team was stuck half a mile away from the Pontiac Silverdome, home of Super Bowl XVI. A motorcade for then-Vice President George H.W. Bush had snared all traffic. The bus finally arrived 95 minutes before kickoff, 20 minutes before the team was due on the field for its warmup. The delay didn't hinder the outcome of the game, as the 49ers won their first of five Super Bowls, beating Cincinnati, 26-21.