February 1, 2004: Super Bowl XXXVIII is remembered as one of the best played Super Bowls on the field for four quarters, and the most controversial during halftime. It had it all: Scoring, a last-second win, a slipped nipple.
The game itself between the New England Patriots (14-2) and the Carolina Panthers (11-5) turned out to be a fantastic matchup. Quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick were going for their second title together in three years.
The Patriots would ultimately win (more on that later), 32-29. It's fitting that today's Super Bowl is on Feb. 1 with Brady and Belichick back in it.
The first half started out with little fireworks, but would finish with a bang. The game was scoreless for a Super Bowl record 26:55 minutes, but ended up being 14-10 Patriots at the break after two Tom Brady touchdown passes and one 39-yard toss by Carolina's Jake Delhomme to receiver Steve Smith.
The fireworks didn't end with the play on the field as the halftime entertainment rolled out. Janet Jackson performed a medley of her singles "All for You" and "Rhythm Nation"; She then performed alongside Justin Timberlake. As Timberlake sang the lyric "gonna have you naked by the end of this song" from his single "Rock Your Body", he tore open her top, exposing her right breast, and stunning an audience of 144.4 million viewers. It was later described as a "wardrobe malfunction."
You can watch the entire halftime routine here, breast included:
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined CBS a record $550,000. The FCC increased the fine per indecency violation from US$27,500 to US$325,000 shortly after the event.
It would go down as the most searched, most YouTubed event in history. Everyone remembers the game for "NippleGate" whether you were a football fan or not.
With breasts and worldwide shock still fresh in people's minds, the game had to go on. And what a game it was.
Both teams failed to score in the third quarter (as they did in the first quarter). But again like the second quarter, the fourth quarter was all fireworks with 37 combined points.
Watch the entire 4th quarter here:
After the Patriots took a 21-10 lead on a rushing touchdown, the Panthers countered with a score of their own on running back DeShaun Foster's 33-yard run. They would missed the 2-point conversion, however. Brady would then throw his first Super Bowl interception, setting up Delhomme for an 85-yard touchdown completion to Muhsin Muhammad, which is the longest play from scrimmage in Super Bowl history. The Panthers would again miss the 2-pointer, but held a 22-21 lead.
Brady would redeem himself for the turnover, driving his team down with under three minutes to go and throwing his third touchdown pass. New England would get the 2-point score with some trickery on a direct snap and lead 29-22. Bit Delhomme and Carolina would drive down the field with ease with passes over the middle with Patriots safety Rodney Harrison injured. Delhomme found Ricky Proehl for a 12-yard touchdown with 1:08 remaining.
Panthers kicker John Kasay made a huge mistake on the ensuing kickoff by kicking the ball out of bounds. The Patriots started with the ball at their own 40-yard line and Brady had all 3 timeouts to work with. Despite a questionable pass interference, the Patriots had third-down-and-3 at the Carolina 40-yard line with 15 seconds left and one timeout. That's when Brady found Deion Branch on a crucial 17-yard out pattern, setting up kicker Adam Vinatieri from 41-yards out with 8 seconds remaining. And like he had done to give New England it's first Super Bowl win in 2002, Vinatieri nailed the game-winner (He was 0-2 before that for the game).
New England's dynasty was for real, and Brady was again a Super Bowl MVP. He set a Super Bowl record for the most pass completions (32), completing 66.7 percent of his passes and accumulating 354 passing yards, 3 touchdowns.
Here's to you Tom Brady, the New England Patriots and Janet Jackson's boob for a memorable Super Bowl.