The History Of Every South Florida Super Bowl
Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium will be the 11th time South Florida has hosted professional football’s championship game. The coveted event will place Miami in the lead for most times hosting football's biggest day of the year.
Prior Super Bowls—which were held at the Orange Bowl and the current Miami Gardens site—have provided some of football’s most memorable moments.
Orange Bowl Era
Super Bowl II, 1968: Lombardi
The second AFL-NFL World Championship Game (as it was then known) was sold out, unlike the previous year’s big game in Los Angeles. The similarity was the Green Bay Packers rolling to a 33-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders, and Coach Vince Lombardi received the trophy that would soon bear his name. The NFL’s dominance over the upstart AFL would end a year later.
Super Bowl III, 1969: The Guarantee
The greatest upset in sports history was guaranteed. That assurance was made by then-New York Jets quarterback and current South Florida resident Joe Namath. Angered that his team was a 17-point underdogs against the seemingly invincible Baltimore Colts, Namath stated: “We’re going to win Sunday; I guarantee it!” Then, using a ball-control strategy, Namath’s Jets confounded the Colts 16-7. The result elevated the Super Bowl to the status with which it is now associated.
Super Bowl V, 1971: The Blunder Bowl
The Baltimore Colts’ last-second 16-13 win over the Dallas Cowboys was the first Super Bowl played on artificial turf, which was blamed for 11 turnovers. Despite the sloppiness, Colts’ backup quarterback Earl Morrall (who would play a similar role in the Dolphins’ undefeated 1972 season) moved the team into position for a game-winning field goal.
Super Bowl X, 1976: Like a Swann
Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Lynn Swann gracefully defied gravity with ballet-like body control in snagging a pair of deep passes that kept his team in contention. Later, he beat the Cowboys’ secondary with his speed for the game-clinching touchdown in a 21-17 Steelers' win.
Super Bowl XIII, 1979: Fighting Back
The Steelers and Cowboys were back for a rematch, which was won by the Steelers 35-31. Among his four touchdown passes, quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw one to halfback Rocky Bleier, with the leaping grab marking an incredible personal comeback. Ten years earlier, Bleier had lost part of his foot and sustained shrapnel injuries in a grenade attack while serving in Vietnam Nam. This win added a third Super Bowl ring alongside his Purple Heart.
Miami Gardens Era
Super Bowl XXIII, 1989: Joe Cool
With the game in the balance, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana—aka Joe Cool—reportedly broke from his methodical persona to express an innocuous observation, saying to tackle Harris Barton: "There, in the stands, standing near the exit ramp, isn't that John Candy?" It was indeed the late comedian. Joe Cool regained his focus and led his team 92 yards in the final minutes to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals, 20-16.
Super Bowl XXIX, 1995: ’Niners!
This game was unique in that the 49ers scored their team nickname in a 49-26 rout of the San Diego Chargers. Quarterback Steve Young threw for six touchdowns, three of which went to Jerry Rice. Young had one of the best statistical days ever, passing for 325 yards and running for another 49.
Super Bowl XXXIII, 1999: Elway All the Way
This was the final game of Broncos’ quarterback John Elway’s career as Denver defeated Atlanta 34-19. The Broncos’ current executive vice president of football operations and general manager, Elway became the oldest player ever to be named a Super Bowl MVP at age 38.
Super Bowl XLI, 2007: Equality
The Indianapolis Colts’ Tony Dungy and the Chicago Bears’ Lovie Smith became the first African American head coaches to appear in a Super Bowl. After a rain-soaked 29-17 win, Dungy stood alongside an elite coaching company as he raised the Vince Lombardi Trophy that was presented to him by legendary Dolphins’ head coach Don Shula.
Super Bowl XLIV, 2010: Comeback Metaphor
An onside kick to open the second half sparked the New Orleans Saints’ rally to defeat the Colts, 31-17. As comebacks go, Saints’ quarterback and game MVP Drew Brees compared the rally to that of his city’s in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, saying: “Four years ago, whoever thought this would be happening when 85 percent of the city was underwater? We just all looked at one another and said, ‘We are going to rebuild together.’ This is the culmination in all that belief.”
From Super Bowl parties to must-visit places in South Florida, make sure to check out our comprehensive guide to Super Bowl 2020.