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29 GIFs that Explain Why the Super Bowl is Awesome

by: Esteban On  Thursday, January 31, 2013

super bowl gifs

If you live somewhere in North America (and it’s not under a rock), then you probably know that the Super Bowl is this weekend. And I don’t know about you, but I love the Super Bowl. Of course, part of the reason for this is that, for the last decade or so, we’ve been treated to really exciting games. But there’s so much more to it than the game. There’s the halftime show. There are the commercials. There is the media frenzy. There are the parties. There is the food.

All these things come together to form what is, in my opinion, the greatest secular American holiday (after the 4th of July). So if someone says, “hey, you want to go to a movie next Sunday?” and that Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday, I’m like, “uh, no.” Or if my cousin sends an email inviting me to the baptism of her kid and it’s Super Bowl Sunday I’m like, “What, are you serious? Absolutely not.”

So today, in order to explain my love of the Super Bowl to anyone who might not understand, I’ve put together this list. It’s 29 animated Super Bowl GIFs that explain what makes the big game (and all that surrounds it) so awesome.


29. The Swann Catch

lynn swann catch super bowl x

First and foremost, the Super Bowl is awesome because incredible plays like this (Lynn Swann’s catch in Super Bowl X) become immortalized.

Want more examples? Fine, how about…


28. The Elway Helicopter

john elway helicopter super bowl xxxii

You know how bad Elway wanted to win the Super Bowl? Enough to do this. And that is awesome.


27. The Interception Return

interception return for touchdown steelers cardinals super bowl

Sometimes you get to see an interception returned 100 yards for a touchdown, like James Harrison did in Super Bowl XLIII.


26. Leon Lett FAIL

leon lett fail super bowl xxvii

And sometimes a guy starts showboating during a blowout and then gets what’s coming to him. That’s what happened to Leon Lett in Super Bowl XXVII. He recovered a fumble, ran it back, started dancing before he got the end zone, and had the ball stripped away at the last second by Buffalo’s Don Beebe.

It was beautiful.


25. Prince's Guitar Wang

prince guitar penis super bowl halftime show

And then there are the halftime shows. So many have been bland and boring. But every once in a while a guy like Prince comes along, and he  creates a silhouette of himself playing the guitar against a giant flapping sheet that looks an awful lot like he is…well, you can see for yourself. (If you don’t see it because you’re all innocent and pure of heart, I’m not going to be the one to tell you.)


24. The Boss's Instructions

bruce springsteen put chicken wing down

Then there are halftime shows featuring Bruce Springsteen, and he commands America to put the chicken fingers down and get ready to rock.


23. The Boss's Slide

bruce springsteen slide super bowl halftime show

Then the Boss does something awesome, like this amazing crotch-first slide into the TV camera.


22. Weird Cupid

weird cupid guy makes madonna look normal super bowl

And sometimes halftime moments like this…


21. More Weird Cupid

weird tight rope guy super bowl xlvi

…Become GIFs like this. Wow.


20. MIA

mia super bowl finger

Or sometimes MIA gives America the finger…


19. Cee Lo Green

cee lo green in fur coat super bowl xlvi

…while Madonna bows down before Cee Lo Green in a giant glittering moo moo.


18. The Malfunction

timberlake janet jackson wardrobe malfunction

And every once in a while, you just might see a halftime performance that adds a new phrase to the English lexicon—e.g., “wardrobe malfunction.”


17. The Buttdown

super bowl xlvi butt touchdown

While most of the time the bizarre stuff happens during the halftime show, sometimes the stuff on the field is surreal, too. For example, last year Ahmad Bradshaw scored a reluctant butt-first touchdown—a Super Bowl first.


16. The Throwdown

jack lambert throws cliff harris to the ground super bowl x

Also a bit surreal was this heated moment from Super Bowl X. The Cowboys’ Cliff Harris decided to taunt the Steelers kicker after he missed a field goal. That prompted NFL legend Jack Lambert to step in and toss Harris around like a rag doll. Then the Steelers came back and won the game thanks to a 14-point 4th quarter comeback.


15. The Super Bowl Shuffle

chicago bears super bowl shuffle

Of course, nothing that happens on the field could ever be as surreal as what the Bears did  just prior to their Super Bowl XX in 1986. I mean, the whole team performed a rap video called “The Super Bowl Shuffle.”

Yeah. Really.


14. Feeding the Animals

cameron diaz feeding alex rodriguez popcorn

Another great thing about the Super Bowl? Celebrity sitings! This one here is one of my favorites—Cameron Diaz feeding A-Rod popcorn…like he’s a puppy dog or something. And from the look on her face, she seems annoyed, like he’s the one who insists she feed him popcorn.


13. Bud Bowl

the bud bowl gif

And let’s not forget about the amazing commercials. (Kids, just go to Wikipedia and search for “Bud Bowl.”)


12. Cryin'

ray lewis crying super bowl

I love how the Super Bowl makes grown men cry.


11. Maria Menounos Lost the Bet

maria_menounos bikini times square super bowl xlvi

And I also love how the Super Bowl makes attractive women strip down into a bikini in Times Square in February because she lost a bet. But even this can’t top the legendary game-winning plays…


10. Santonio's Catch

santonio holmes catch in super bowl xliii

You just never know when a Super Bowl might come down to a huge play like this—Santonio Holmes’ catch in Super Bowl XLIII.


9. The Tackle

the tackle (mike jones on kevin dyson) super bowl xxxiv rams titans

And sometimes a Super Bowl comes down to a play like this—Mike Jones’s tackle of Kevin Dyson at the 1-yard line that won the game for the Rams.


8. Norwood Wide Right

scott norwood buffalo wide right buffalo loses super bowl xxv

Then there are times when the Super Bowl comes down to heartbreaking plays like this—when Scott Norwood missed a 47-yard field goal wide right in 1991, costing the Buffalo Bills a Super Bowl and handing one to the New York Giants.


7. The Helmet Catch, Part 1

the catch (eli manning to david tyree) super bowl xlii part 1

But the best types of Super Bowl plays are the ones you simply cannot believe. And here I’m talking about “The Helmet Catch” from Super Bowl XLII.

It all started with an incredible scramble by Eli Manning that looked like a sure sack…


6. The Helmet Catch, Part 2

the catch (eli manning to david tyree) super bowl xlii part 2

…But somehow Manning evaded the rushers and fired a throw downfield, and that throw was caught by David Tyree.


5. The Helmet Catch, Part 3

the catch (eli manning to david tyree) super bowl xlii part 3

But wait just one damn minute. How did Tyree catch that ball???


4. The Helmet Catch, Part 4

The Catch (David Tyree) Super Bowl XLII

Oh right. He caught the ball ON HIS HELMET. If this isn’t the most incredible play in Super Bowl history, I don’t know what is.

Now, I know what you’re saying: come on, man, we can’t reasonably expect to see a play like this every year. This is a once-a-decade sort of play. And you’re right. But even if the game itself turns out to be boring, there are always the commercials…

3. Lima + Kia

adriana lima kia commercial super bowl xlvi

Did you know that they often hire sexy supermodels to appear in Super Bowl commercials?

Well, they do.


2. The Catfight

miller lite catfight super bowl commercial

And sometimes these commercials have two sexy models…wrestling…in a fountain.

Is that sexist and offensive? You bet. But it’s still not quite as intense as…


1. Kate Gets Down with a Burger

kate upton carls jr super bowl commercial

Kate Upton getting intimate with a Carls Jr./Hardees burger? Sure, why not. It’s the Super Bowl!