CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — It was the Panthers’ first Super Bowl appearance, but there was also an infamous halftime show and a last-minute drive by the most decorated quarterback in NFL history.
Super Bowl 38, held 20 years ago, provided a slew of memorable performances – by players performers and even spectators. And one of the game’s stars that night in Houston was introduced as Carolina’s new general manager Thursday.
Here’s a breakdown of the records set and moments that entered pop culture lure on Feb. 1, 2004:
Let’s start with the game itself. Despite the Patriots winning in a dramatic 32-29 shootout, no team scored until 3 minutes left in the first half. And all of the game’s 61 points came in either the second or fourth quarters. The 27 scored in the final frame set a record for the “Big Game.”
The Panthers may have lost, but they set two Super Bowl records, one on each side of the ball. Trailing 21-16 with just over 7 minutes remaining in the game, quarterback Jake Delhomme connected with receiver Mushin Muhammed on an 85-yard bomb for a touchdown. It was the longest play in the championship’s history. The distance has since been passed by a kickoff return, but it is still the longest offensive play.
The touchdown gave Carolina its only lead of the game, and the team failed on its second straight 2-point conversion.
Defensively, Panthers linebacker Dan Morgan picked the country’s biggest stage to have his biggest game. New England’s early struggles to move the ball were due in large part to Morgan’s efforts. He finished with 18 tackles – 11 solo – the most ever in a Super Bowl.
The win was the second for the Patriots’ 2000s dynasty, and for the second time, Adam Vinatieri kicked a field goal to win as time expired. Two years prior, it was the New England defense that shut down the Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” offense, and quarterback Tom Brady only passed for 145 yards.
The 2004 game saw a much different Brady, one who put in a performance he would become known for moving forward in his career. He threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns, with Deion Branch hauling in 10 catches for 143 yards.
From a national perspective, the halftime show with a slew of music stars is why this Super Bowl was so memorable. Yes, it was the “Wardrobe Malfunction.” Janet Jackson was on stage with Justin Timberlake, singing “Rock Your Body” from the former NSYNC frontman’s debut solo album. He then pulls off part of Jackson’s suit, exposing one of her breasts, covered only by a pasty.
Controversy ensued, mostly directed at Jackson and that MTV was the producer. However, the cable channel was owned by the same company, Viacom, as CBS at the time.
The performance also featured appearances from Nelly, P. Diddy, Kid Rock, and Jessica Simpson.
But the spectators at then-Reliant Stadium got some more unexpected skin exposure. Coming out of halftime, a man dressed as a referee gained access to the field, and then stripped down to his underwear and socks. Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham quickly tackled the streaker, who was carried off by law enforcement.
The game comes full circle, to Thursday, when Morgan, along with head coach Dave Canales, were introduced by the Panthers in their new roles. Even Brady is in the news as well, with plans to take former Panther Greg Olsen’s spot as Fox Sports’ top NFL analyst.