Superbowl XXI Halftime Show


Following an owner’s meeting that was held between May 23-25, 1984, in Washington, D.C., Super Bowl XXI was awarded to Pasadena, California.

The owner’s meeting had been convened to award the next four Super Bowls, and the bidding process included 14 cities: Anaheim, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Pasadena, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Tampa, and Tempe.

Super Bowl XXI was played between the AFC’s Denver Broncos and NFC’s New York Giants on January 25, 1987, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California to decide which team would be crowned champions of the 1986 football season.

The Giants managed to secure their first ever Super Bowl win, beating the Broncos by 39-20.

Notable for:

  • Super Bowl XXI was the first time that a mass audience witnessed the Gatorade Shower, a traditional task that involved players pouring a cooler full of liquid over the coach in the aftermath of a significant win. While Giants’ players had been practicing the Gatorade Shower since 1985, it was Super Bowl XXI that first brought it to the public’s attention.

The first half of Super Bowl XXI was extremely tight, ending 10-9 in favor of the Broncos, representing the narrowest margin in the history of the Super Bowl. However, the only team to score in the second quarter was the Giants, following George Martin’s sack of Elway in the end zone. The Giants went on a scoring run thereafter, accumulating 26 unanswered points during the course of the third and fourth quarters. In fact, during the second half of the game, they scored a record-breaking 30 points, while the Broncos accumulated just 2.

The MVP award went to Simms, who successfully completed 22 of 25 passes (representing an 88% completion percentage), gaining 268 yards and scoring three touchdowns. His completion percentage remained unbeaten for 21 years.

Final Score: Denver Broncos (AFC) – 20 Vs. New York Giants (NFC) – 39
Date: January 25, 1987
Stadium: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
MVP: Phil Simms, Quarterback
Favorite: Giants by 9.5
Referee: Jerry Markbreit
Attendance: 101,063

Pre-game entertainment: The Beach Boys lead a celebration of the music and history of California. They were accompanied by The Fifth Dimension and Lee Greenwood.
National anthem: Neil Diamond
Coin toss: Joe Gibbs, Eddie Robinson, and Doug Williams
Halftime show: Boyz II Men/Smokey Robinson/Martha Reeves/Temptations/Queen Latifah. “Salute to Hollywood’s 100th Anniversary” with Southern California high school drill teams and dancers
Halftime set:

  • “Ghost Riders in the Sky”
  • Theme songs from Bonanza, Indiana Jones, and Footloose
  • Hoedown song
  • “Cheek to Cheek”
  • “What a Feeling” (Theme from Flashdance)
  • “That’s Entertainment”
  • “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
  • “When You Wish Upon a Star”