The Baltimore Ravens–San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl XLVII, the biggest television event of 2013, is almost here.
Even if you don't like football, the Super Bowl is the one game of the year that most of us will watch, whether it's for the commercials, the halftime show, or even the game itself. It's a cultural phenomenon no matter which team you support, and much like the final episode of M*A*S*H, even if you didn't watch the show regularly you may have tuned in for the historical or cultural aspect.
In fact, the M*A*S*H series finale was the most-watched American television broadcast in history from 1983 until Super Bowl XLIV beat that record in February 2010, which has been broken every year by the following Super Bowl.
Like TV and the Super Bowls before it, Super Bowl XLVII already had a narrative before either team will step onto the field this Sunday in New Orleans. It's not just the San Francisco 49ers facing off against the Baltimore Ravens. It's also the HarBowl, pinning brothers Jim and John Harbaugh—the head coaches for each team respectively—against each other, as well as Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis's final game.
Add in a possible Destiny's Child reunion and it'll be quite a show.
But until the game starts, why not go down Super Bowl memory lane with the help of YouTube and relive some of the highlights that led to the impending showdown?
Super Bowl I: Jan. 15, 1967
Green Bay Packers 35, Kansas City Chiefs 10
There was great animosity between the established National Football League (NFL) and the recently started American Football League (AFL) leading up to the "First AFL-NFL World Championship Game" (as it was called), and while Kansas City gave Green Bay a run for their money toward the beginning of the game, the Packers struck back in the second half for a decisive victory.
Super Bowl II: Jan. 14, 1968
Green Bay Packers 33, Oakland Raiders 14
Many sportswriters held the belief that NFL teams were far better than AFL teams, and Vince Lombardi's Packers didn't disappoint as they dominated Oakland hroughout most of the game. Oakland only managed to score two touchdowns before Green Bay won their second title.
Super Bowl III: Jan. 12, 1969
New York Jets 16, Baltimore Colts 7
Super Bowl III marked the first year that the name "Super Bowl" was used, and it was also one of the greatest upsets in NFL history. New York defeated the Baltimore (now Indianapolis) Colts and brought the first victory for the AFL just three days after Jets quarterback Joe Namath boldly guaranteed a win.
Super Bowl IV: Jan. 11, 1970
Kansas City Chiefs 23, Minnesota Vikings 7
This was the last Super Bowl before the two leagues merged into the two-conference league we know today. Wet conditions gave Kansas City's defense the advantage and Minnesota's offense had three interceptions and two fumbles before the game ended.
Super Bowl V: Jan. 17, 1971
Baltimore Colts 16, Dallas Cowboys 13
Sometimes called the "Blunder Bowl," this Super Bowl was full of penalties, turnovers, poor play, and call mistakes from the referees. Baltimore ultimately ended up the victor and were the first recipients of the Vince Lombardi trophy (named after the Packers coach who suddenly died from cancer the year before).
Super Bowl VI: Jan. 16, 1972
Dallas Cowboys 24, Miami Dolphins 3
America's team got its first victory after losing the year before to Baltimore. They controlled most of the game and prevented Miami from scoring a single touchdown, along with a number of other records.
Super Bowl VII: Jan. 14, 1973
Miami Dolphins 14, Washington Redskins 7
Miami became the first (and only) team to complete a perfect undefeated season after defeating Washington. It was lowest-scoring game, with only 21 points between the two teams, and Washington finally scored their only touchdown with 2:07 left in the fourth quarter.
Super Bowl VIII: Jan. 13, 1974
Miami Dolphins 24, Minnesota Vikings 7
With their third Super Bowl in a row, Miami secured their second win after dominating Minnesota throughout the game. They led 24-0 going into the fourth quarter, and it was a four-yard touchdown run by Fran Tarkenton that saved the Vikings from being shut out.
Super Bowl IX: Jan. 12, 1975
Pittsburgh Steelers 16, Minnesota Vikings 6
Pittsburgh won their first of an eventual six Super Bowl titles after quarterback Terry Bradshaw and the famed Steel Curtain defense shut down Minnesota for much of the game.
Super Bowl X: Jan. 18, 1976
Pittsburgh Steelers 21, Dallas Cowboys 17
Pittsburgh won their second consecutive Super Bowl after coming back from 10-7 in the fourth quarter. Dallas tried to turn that around, but they were ultimately stopped after an end zone interception as the clock ran out.
Super Bowl XI: Jan. 9, 1977
Oakland Raiders 32, Minnesota Vikings 14
Minnesota was 0-4 at the Super Bowl after losing to the Raiders. Oakland was 16-0 at halftime after failing to score in the first quarter, and three touchdowns from wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff secured the victory.
Super Bowl XII: Jan. 15, 1978
Dallas Cowboys 27, Denver Broncos 10
Dallas's defense dominated Denver throughout most of the game with eight turnovers (two which led to 10 points in the first quarter), and for the first and only time, two players were named Super Bowl MVP: defensive tackle Randy White and defensive end Harvey Martin.
Super Bowl XIII: Jan. 21, 1979
Pittsburgh Steelers 35, Dallas Cowboys 31
This matchup was a rematch of Super Bowl X, and much like the first game, Pittsburgh came out on top. Dallas managed to score a couple touchdowns in the final minutes of the game but failed to overtake Pittsburgh.
Super Bowl XIV: Jan. 20, 1980
Pittsburgh Steelers 31, Los Angeles Rams 19
By defeating the Los Angeles (now St. Louis) Rams, Pittsburgh won their fourth Super Bowl title in six years. During the first three quarters, the score remained close, but Pittsburgh broke out in the fourth quarter and scored 14 unanswered points.
Super Bowl XV: Jan. 25, 1981
Oakland Raiders 27, Philadelphia Eagles 10
Oakland became the first wild card playoff team to win a Super Bowl. Oakland held an early lead, and Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski threw three interceptions to Raiders linebacker Rod Martin, which helped secure the victory.
Super Bowl XVI: Jan. 24, 1982
San Francisco 49ers 26, Cincinnati Bengals 21
The current NFC champions won their first Super Bowl after a record-setting 20-0 lead at halftime with touchdowns from quarterback Joe Montana and field goals by Ray Wersching. Cincinnati tried to rally back, but they were thwarted by Wersching and the 49ers' defense.
Super Bowl XVII: Jan. 30, 1983
Washington Redskins 27, Miami Dolphins 17
A players' strike shortened the season leading up to Super Bowl XVII, which turned into a rematch of Super Bowl VII (which marked the end of Miami's perfect season), only this time Washington came out the winner at the end of the game.
Super Bowl XVIII: Jan. 22, 1984
Los Angeles Raiders 38, Washington Redskins 9
From 1982 to 1994, the Oakland Raiders relocated to Los Angeles, but this didn't prevent them from winning their third Super Bowl title. Known to Redskins fans as "Black Sunday," Los Angeles ended up setting the record for most points scored by an AFC team in a Super Bowl.
Super Bowl XIX: Jan. 20, 1985
San Francisco 49ers 38, Miami Dolphins 16
The San Francisco–Miami matchup put legendary quarterbacks Joe Montana and Dan Marino against one another, which broke a number of records. San Francisco came back after trailing 10-7 in the first quarter to win their second Super Bowl title.
Super Bowl XX: Jan. 26, 1986
Chicago Bears 46, New England Patriots 10
Super Bowl XX marks the most recent game in which both teams made their debut. Although New England took the lead with a field goal just 1:19 into the first quarter, but Chicago soon blew them away and set a slew of records in the process.
Super Bowl XXI: Jan. 25, 1987
New York Giants 39, Denver Broncos 20
Denver had John Elway and a slight upper hand at halftime, but New York made up for it and scored 30 points in the second half. The Giants their first Super Bowl and brought the traditional Gatorade shower for the head coach to the attention of a national audience.
Super Bowl XXII: Jan. 31, 1988
Washington Redskins 42, Denver Broncos 10
This season was also shorted by a players' strike, but the teams only lost one game from the dispute. Washington trailed after the first quarter, but they dominated the rest of the game with 42 unanswered points (35 of them scored just in the second quarter).
Super Bowl XXIII: Jan. 22, 1989
San Francisco 49ers 20, Cincinnati Bengals 16
San Francisco and Cincinnati previously faced off in Super Bowl XVI, and like with the first matchup, the 49ers came out the victors. With just 3:10 left on the clock, San Francisco took the ball 92 yards in under three minutes to score the winning touchdown.
Super Bowl XXIV: Jan. 28, 1990
San Francisco 49ers 55, Denver Broncos 10
San Francisco matched the Pittsburgh Steelers with four Super Bowl titles after destroying Denver with the largest margin to date, scoring eight total touchdowns—two in each quarter.
Super Bowl XXV: Jan. 27, 1991
New York Giants 20, Buffalo Bills 19
The matchup between New York and Buffalo had the closest margin in Super Bowl history with just one point. The Bills had a chance to win the game with eight seconds remaining, but placekicker Scott Norwood's attempted field goal went wide right of the righthand goalpost to secure a Giants win.
Super Bowl XXVI: Jan. 26, 1992
Washington Redskins 37, Buffalo Bills 24
Washington led 24-0 early in the third quarter, and while Buffalo would eventually match that score, the Redskins defense sacked and intercepted Bills quarterback Jim Kelly four times each and they were unable to overtake Washington.
Super Bowl XXVII: Jan. 31, 1993
Dallas Cowboys 52, Buffalo Bills 17
Dallas created a Super Bowl record for turnovers, accounting for 35 of their points. Buffalo scored two touchdowns, but Dallas increased the lead. They had a chance to score another touchdown which turned into a touchback for Buffalo, but it didn't hurt them much in the end.
Super Bowl XXVIII: Jan. 30, 1994
Dallas Cowboys 30, Buffalo Bills 13
Buffalo lost its fourth Super Bowl in a row to Dallas in a rematch of Super Bowl XXVII. This time, Dallas trailed at halftime, but the Dallas offense, led by running back Emmitt Smith, dominated the second half and scored 24 points to win the game.
Super Bowl XXIX: Jan. 29, 1995
San Francisco 49ers 49, San Diego Chargers 26
San Francisco became 5-0 in Super Bowl games as quarterback Steve Young, Joe Montana's successor, threw a record six touchdown passes. San Diego started out late but still managed to put up 26 points.
Super Bowl XXX: Jan. 28, 1996
Dallas Cowboys 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 17
Both teams tried to tie San Francisco's number of wins in their third Super Bowl matchup, but Dallas came out in the end, handing Pittsburgh its first Super Bowl loss. With 95.13 million viewers, it was the most-watched sporting event at the time (and only second to the series finale of M*A*S*H).
Super Bowl XXXI: Jan. 26, 1997
Green Bay Packers 35, New England Patriots 21
This marked Green Bay's first Super Bowl appearance since 1968 and quarterback Brett Favre's first win. New England led after the first quarter, but Green Bay scored 17 points in the second quarter and the Patriots never overcame the deficit.
Super Bowl XXXII: Jan. 25, 1998
Denver Broncos 31, Green Bay Packers 24
Denver won their first Super Bowl after losing four previous times (and broke a 13-game dry spell for the AFC). The score was close throughout the game, but Broncos running back Terrell Davis scored the winning touchdown with just 1:45 left on the clock.
Super Bowl XXXIII: Jan. 31, 1999
Denver Broncos 34, Atlanta Falcons 19
John Elway, age 38, became the oldest player to be named Super Bowl MVP as Denver won its second consecutive Super Bowl with an 80-yard touchdown pass and an early lead Atlanta couldn't touch.
Super Bowl XXXIV: Jan. 30, 2000
St. Louis Rams 23, Tennessee Titans 16
The Rams won their first Super Bowl since moving to St. Louis, which turned out to be a defensive battle against Tennessee. The Titans tied the score, but a subsequent touchdown from St. Louis and a tackle from linebacker Mike Jones prevented Tennessee from tying the score again.
Super Bowl XXXV: Jan. 28, 2001
Baltimore Ravens 34, New York Giants 7
The current AFC champions won their first Super Bowl and largely shut down the Giants' offense, which resulted in only one touchdown from a 97-yard kickoff return. Ray Lewis, who's set to retire at the end of this season, was named the Super Bowl MVP with three tackles, two assists and four blocked passes.
Super Bowl XXXVI: Feb. 3, 2002
New England Patriots 20, St. Louis Rams 17
At one time the New England Patriots were considered the underdogs, and their victory over St Louis became one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl History. Tom Brady, who may not have been as hated by the Internet then as he is now, earned the Super Bowl MVP with 145 yards and a touchdown.
Super Bowl XXXVII: Jan. 26, 2003
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48, Oakland Raiders 21
Tampa Bay won their first Super Bowl, but the buzz revolved more around Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden, who used to be the head coach for the Raiders. Oakland were the favorites going into the game, but Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon threw five interceptions and Tampa Bay had an early lead that Oakland couldn't touch for a decisive victory.
Super Bowl XXXVIII: Feb. 1, 2004
New England Patriots 32, Carolina Panthers 29
The aftermath of the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show coined the term "wardrobe malfunction," but New England and Carolina put on a show of their own with a close game decided only by a 41-yard field goal by kicker Adam Vinatieri with only four seconds left on the clock.
Super Bowl XXXIX: Feb. 6, 2005
New England Patriots 24, Philadelphia Eagles 21
Both teams were tied by the end of the third quarter, but New England pulled ahead with 10 unanswered points. Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb threw a 30-yard touchdown to receiver Greg Lewis with 1:48 remaining, but it wasn't enough to prevent a Patriots victory.
Super Bowl XL: Feb. 5, 2006
Pittsburgh Steelers 21, Seattle Seahawks 10
After defeating Seattle, Pittsburgh joined the ranks of the Cowboys and 49ers with five Super Bowl victories each. They took the lead early in the third quarter, and while Seattle made a push with a touchdown, Pittsburgh responded with one of their own.
Super Bowl XLI: Feb. 4, 2007
Indianapolis Colts 29, Chicago Bears 17
A Colts win, their first since moving to Indianapolis in 1984, gave quarterback Peyton Manning his first Super Bowl ring and MVP award. Trailing at the end of the first quarter, Indianapolis pushed through and scored 23 points in the three remaining quarters to Chicago's three.
Super Bowl XLII: Feb. 3, 2008
New York Giants 17, New England Patriots 14
At 18-0 going into the Super Bowl, New England tried to do what only the 1972 Miami Dolphins accomplished before: a perfect undefeated season. Also serving as a rematch of the final game of the regular season, New York came out on top in what's regarded as one of the biggest upsets in sports history.
Super Bowl XLIII: Feb. 1, 2009
Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Arizona Cardinals 23
Pittsburgh now leads the pack as the team with the most Super Bowl wins at six, although the 49ers are looking to tie that on Sunday. Pittsburgh led at halftime, and Arizona pushed back with 16 unanswered points. It took one final drive and a touchdown with just 35 seconds left for Pittsburgh to win.
Super Bowl XLIV: Feb. 7, 2010
New Orleans Saints 31, Indianapolis Colts 17
This was the first Super Bowl for New Orleans. Trailing at halftime, the Saints took the lead following a surprise onside kick at the second half kickoff and scored 18 unanswered points to win their first Super Bowl. The broadcast overtook the final episode of M*A*S*H and became the most-watched television event of all-time, only to be beaten by Super Bowl XLV.
Super Bowl XLV: Feb. 6, 2011
Green Bay Packers 31, Pittsburgh Steelers 25
Green Bay took control early in the game and held the lead at halftime, but Pittsburgh closed in and was only behind by three points halfway through the fourth quarter. The Packers scored a field goal and prevented one final push from the Pittsburgh offense to win their fourth title.
Super Bowl XLVI: Feb. 5, 2012
New York Giants 21, New England Patriots 17
Last year's big game was a rematch of Super Bowl XLII as New York took an early lead only to trail 17-9 by the third quarter. With two field goals and a touchdown with only 57 seconds remaining, the Giants denied the Patriots yet another win. Fans flocked to Twitter and broke a Super Bowl record with over 15.8 million tweets during the game (about 1.8 million in the last three minutes alone).
Photo via Au Kirk/Flickr
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