Top 5 Most Controversial NFL Super Bowl of All Time


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The NFL is not without scandals, but when the Super Bowl is involved, you can bet it will be front-page news.

This list will rank the most contentious tales surrounding The Big Game. 

Poor Sports Patriots, Wardrobe Malfunction, The Joe Namath Guarantee, and more are on our list!

Today we’re ranking the Top 5 Super Bowl Controversies of All Time. This list will rank the most contentious tales surrounding The Big Game.

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5.Questionable calls made by the referees

Top 5 Most Controversial NFL Super Bowl of All Time

Super Bowl LIII: New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams (2019) – This game was controversial due to the low-scoring nature of the game (13-3 in favor of the Patriots) and some questionable calls made by the referees.

Some fans and analysts felt that the referees were favoring the Patriots and that the low-scoring game was due to poor offensive play rather than good defense.

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4. Misaligned Wardrobe

Top 5 Most Controversial NFL Super Bowl of All Time

“Super Bowl LIII” (2004)

Our is possibly the most well-known Super Bowl controversy on this list, as well as one of the most-watched halftime show gaffes in history. The incident helped popularise the term “wardrobe malfunction,” and it happened during a Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake performance.

There has been much debate over the years about whether the occurrence was an accident or part of a deliberate strategy. What IS certain is that during her performance, a certain part of Janet (Miss Jackson, if you’re nasty) was exposed, sending the entire halftime show into the realm of infamy.

3.  Problems with Officiating

Top 5 Most Controversial NFL Super Bowl of All Time

The “Super Bowl XL” (2006)

We’ve had a lot of extracurricular activity overshadow this controversial debate, so it’s time to get back to the game itself. It was the officiating of Super Bowl XL in particular that everyone was talking about following the game. Were NFL officials making deliberate calls to penalize the Seattle Seahawks?

Some appeared to believe so, while others stated that the Steelers, too, were victims of bad calls. Others, though, chalked up the officiating on this night to simply being terrible. The NFL, for its part, defended its referees, but that didn’t stop players, fans, and media personalities from discussing what happened.

2. Eugene Robinson was arrested at “Super Bowl XXXIII” (1999)

Top 5 Most Controversial NFL Super Bowl of All Time

Talk about bad timing, man. Eugene Robinson was an Atlanta Falcons safety preparing to face the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII. He also awoke on January 30th, 1999, ready to accept the NFL’s Bart Starr Award for his “strong moral character.”

Robinson was arrested later that night for soliciting prostitution. The woman in question was an undercover cop, and the story soon spread throughout all major sports media groups. Robinson continued to play in the game, but that Bart Starr Award took on a whole new significance, didn’t it?

1. Joe Namath’s Guarantee

Top 5 Most Controversial NFL Super Bowl of All Time

“The Third Super Bowl” (1969)

It was the forecast heard ’round the world, coming from one of the game’s greatest speakers. “Broadway” Joe Namath was his name, and he unambiguously predicted that his underdog New York Jets would win Super Bowl III against the Baltimore Colts. Braggadocio is one thing, but ensuring victory is not only audacious. It’s almost insulting.

That didn’t stop the flamboyant quarterback from sticking to his guns. The Jets’ victory should be attributed to a rushing score and three field goals. Sure, Namath was chosen MVP, but he didn’t throw a single touchdown pass during this game. Still, a victory is a victory, right? And that made Namath’s promise feel like a foregone conclusion.

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