It seems like sex and the Super Bowl have always been in bed together.
The Super Bowl is super charged and full of sex crimes and scandals. Take a look a the history of sex and the Super Bowl from Nipplegate, to sexual assault charges, to the scantily-clad PETA ads of late.
It’s not just about the football — thanks to racy commercials, suggestive halftime shows, and lingerie-clad ladies, the Super Bowl has earned a sexy, scandalous reputation over the years. The first Super Bowl took place on Jan. 15, 1967, and since then, it’s become one of the most popular TV events each year. In 2011, Super Bowl XLV captured the attention of 111 million viewers, making it the most-watched American TV program in history.
With that kind of popularity, any controversies related to the game come with major media scrutiny and a bright national spotlight. Although “Nipplegate” tends to be the most shocking, buzzed-about incident in the game’s history, there have been several other sex-related controversies tied to the event. In anticipation of this Sunday’s big game, take a look at the most scandalous moments in Super Bowl history.
Thanks to such high TV ratings, the Super Bowl marks the most expensive commercial airtime a company can buy. Companies do their best to grab viewers’ attentions, and the idea that “sex sells” isn’t a new one. In 1973, Farrah Fawcett’s Noxzema commercial featured the blond bombshell rubbing shaving cream on the face of New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath. In a not-so-subtle sexual innuendo, he says, “I’m so excited, I’m gonna get creamed!”
Super Bowl Soliciting
The night before 1999’s Super Bowl XXXIII, Atlanta Falcons player Eugene Robinson was arrested on a charge of soliciting sex from a prostitute in Miami — while his wife was in bed at their hotel. After offering an undercover officer $40 for oral sex, he played alongside his team in the championship game, eventually losing to the Denver Broncos.
Suggestive ’90s Supermodels
Sexy brunettes seemed to rule the small screen during Super Bowl ads throughout the ’90s. First, there was Cindy Crawford’s 1992 Pepsi commercial, which featured the stunning supermodel sipping from a can while young boys stared from afar.
In Ali Landry’s 1998 Doritos commercial, she makes guys swoon with her laundromat acrobatics. The successful ad made headlines and “The Doritos Girl” kicked off her TV and film career.
It was the “wardrobe malfunction” heard around the world. During the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show,Justin Timberlake pulled at a part of Janet Jackson‘s costume and part of her breast was revealed, covered with nipple jewelry. The now-infamous event became known as Nipplegate, and Justin said he was“shocked and appalled” by the incident.
In the wake of Nipplegate, the NFL imposed a five-second delay on halftime performances. For the following six years, only classic male rockers like Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, and Tom Petty stepped on the Super Bowl stage. It wasn’t until 2011 that another woman — Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas — performed during the halftime show.Madonna‘s 2012 performance was the most watched in the history of the Super Bowl, and this year, Beyoncé will be taking the stage.
2004 launched the Lingerie Bowl, the championship game for a female football league, where players wore helmets, shoulder pads, elbow pads, knee pads, garters, bras, and underwear. It began as a pay-per-view halftime special, but the game was canceled in 2007, 2008, and 2009 for a variety of reasons.
When the league shifted to a Spring season, that meant no more Super Bowl timing, which lessened the Lingerie Bowl’s popularity. On Jan. 10, 2013, the league rebranded itself as Legends Football League because its credibility suffered over its previous name and the skimpy uniforms.
Sexual Assault Suspension
In 2010, in the wake of a sexual assault allegation (his second), quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers was suspended for the first six games — reduced to four — before leading his team to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Green Bay Packers. The following year, he married wife Ashley Harlan and the pair now have a son.
Each year, the sexy Super Bowl ads continue — and sometimes end up banned before the game even airs. During Megan Fox’s 2010 Motorola commercial, the Hollywood bombshell snapped photos of herself in a bathtub. The following year, Kim Kardashian’s Skechers ad featured her in skimpy spandex, running her hands along her body and teasing a male trainer.
Meanwhile, PETA’s 2011 “Go Veg” campaigncommercial was banned for being sexually explicit. As a parody of porn casting, the ad showed women eating vegetables in suggestive ways, and although it never aired, the commercial earned a lot of press and thousands of YouTube hits.
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