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9 Weird Super Bowl Moments You’ve Probably Forgotten About

Jonathan Daniel/Rick Stewart/Rick Stewart, Getty ImagesThe Super Bowl, which draws viewers around the world, is mostly remembered for the heroics and disappointments of the players on the field but let’s not forget about the strange things that have happened surrounding the game, before the game, and during halftime of the game.

Here’s a look back at 9 of football history’s less proud moments that have come out of the Super Bowl fanfare:

Cocaine charge

Drug addiction can be a tougher battle for anyone than the football game going on on the field. That became evident on the eve of Super Bowl XXXIII when Bengals’ running back Stanley Wilson had a cocaine relapse in his bathroom. It was Wilson’s third relapse, which meant according to NFL rules that he was banned from the league for life, including the next day’s Super Bowl. The Bengals got trounced by the Niners.

Robbins disappears

He was a Pro Bowl center for the Raiders and helped lead them to the Super Bowl. Yet, a day before Super Bowl XXXVII, Robbins vanished. When he showed up again, he was so incoherent that Coach Bill Callahan had no choice but to keep Robbins out of the game. It turns out that Robbins had spent the afternoon partying in Tijuana because he had thought the team had already won the game. When the game was actually played, Oakland lost big to Tampa.

Prostitution arrest

Eugene Robinson was one of the league’s better defenders, but he will forever be known for his error in judgment the day before Super Bowl XXXIII. That’s because Robinson was arrested for soliciting an undercover female police officer. It occurred at 3 a.m. while Robinson’s wife slept nearby. Robinson played in the game, but not well, and the Falcons lost to the Broncos.

Dallas runs out of seats

Last year’s Super Bowl in Dallas was the subject of some controversy when hundreds of fans showed up only to discover they didn’t have seats. Many angry ones sued the Cowboys and the league over the fiasco, but the league has held tight that it dealt with the situation fairly by offering the fans refunds or to move seats. Last summer the Cowboys were removed as defendants in the case, but the suit against the NFL goes on.

McMahon moons

Jim McMahon was the star of Super Bowl XX but ti was his shenanigans leading up to the game that drew chatter. He was known to be a bit of a loose cannon, and he showed it full throttle when he mooned a helicopter after journalists asked one too many times about his minor injury to his buttocks. The incident has become a part of Super Bowl lore.

A feed goes dead

During Super Bowl XLIII, some Arizona fans ran into an uncomfortable problem: Their television feeds went out mid-game and they were thrown to a feed filled with pornography. Frank Tanori Gonzalez of Tucson pleaded guilty to two counts of computer tampering for the prank. Fans might have been particularly upset their Comcast cable broadcasts cut out just minutes before their hometown Arizona Cardinals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

A missing helmet

Players get pumped up to play in sports’s biggest game and Thurman Thomas was no exception. During Super Bowl XXVI, Thomas performed his regular routine, setting his helmet down at the 34-yard line (he wore #34). But when his helmet got moved to set up for the halftime festivities, it went missing. Thomas subsequently missed Buffalo’s first two offensive plays. Years later, teammate Bruce Smith admitted that he had hid Thomas’s helmet from him as a joke.

M.I.A.’s middle finger

Last year’s halftime show also fielded its fair share of criticism when M.I.A. appeared to flash her middle finger directly at the camera during her performance. The singer fessed up and apologized, but it still ruffled some feathers, particularly those of fellow entertainer Madonna, who said that the gesture was out of place for a family program. Both NBC and the NFL condemned M.I.A., but neither took responsibility for how the finger made it onto air.

Balloon crashes

During pregame of Super Bowl IV, a whole host of festivities and competitions were planned, including a hot-air balloon race. But things went awry when the balloon carrying a “Viking” lifted off prematurely and wound up crashing into the stands in the end zone. Thankfully, nobody was injured. It was perhaps symbolic, though: Minnesota lost to Kansas City in the game that day.

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