1989 Super Bowl Recap


Following an owner’s meeting that was held in Phoenix between 10th and 15th March, 1985, Super Bowl XXIII was awarded to Miami, Florida. Originally, the owners had planned on voting for the XXIII host during a meeting in May the previous year. However, after the balloting process by which Super Bowl XXI was awarded took more than two hours, the owners decided to reschedule voting for XXIII.

Twelve cities participated in the bidding process for Super Bowl XXIII: Anaheim, Detroit, Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, and Tempe. Miami was widely accepted as being the favorite to host the event, and the predictions came to fruition.

Super Bowl XXIII was played between the AFC’s Cincinnati Bengals and NFC’s San Francisco 49ers on January 22, 1989, at the Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami to decide which team would be crowned champions of the 1988 football season.

Notable for:

  • Super Bowl XXIII was the last Super Bowl to take place on the second to last Sunday in January. Between 1990 and 2001, the game was hosted on the final Sunday in January. From 2002 onwards, it was pushed back a further week to the First Sunday in February.
  • It was also the last Super Bowl to be hosted in the East Coast that began during daylight hours.

Super Bowl XXIII Game Summary:

This game was a close-fought match that is perhaps best remembered for the 49ers game-winning drive in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. The first half saw little more than a defensive struggle and, by the end of the second quarter, both teams had clocked up nothing more than 3 points each, all scored from field goals.

The third quarter saw Cincinnati produce its only touchdown in the form of a 93-yard kickoff return by Stanford Jennings. However, this was rapidly answered by an 85-yard drive from the 49ers that resulted in Jerry Rice’s 14-yard touchdown.

Cincinnati’s only touchdown, a 93-yard kickoff return by Stanford Jennings in the third quarter, was quickly answered by a four-play, 85-yard drive that ended with San Francisco wide receiver Jerry Rice’s 14-yard touchdown reception, tying the score at 13-13. However, with just 3.20 remaining Breech kicked his third field goal of the game, a 40-yarder that put the Bengals in a 16-13 lead. However, the game was by no means over. The San Francisco team managed to get their hands on the ball on their eight-yard line and took it 92 yards down the line in less than three minutes. The winning touchdown came with just 34 seconds left on the clock, via a Joe Montana pass to John Taylor.

Jerry Rice was named the MVP for his outstanding performance, which included a Super Bowl record for catching 11 passes covering 215 yards, while also completing a five-yard rush.

Final Score: Cincinnati Bengals (AFC) – 16 Vs. San Francisco 49ers (NFC) – 20
Venue: Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, Florida
MVP: Jerry Rice, Wide receiver
Favorite: 49ers by 7
Referee: Jerry Seeman
Attendance: 75,129

Pregame: Salute to South Florida and NASA Program; fly over by 31st Tactical Wing, Homestead AFB
Anthem: Billy Joel
Coin Toss: Nick Buoniconti, Bob Griese, and Larry Little
Halftime: South Florida-area dancers and performers & 3-D effects.
Halftime theme: Be Bop Bamboozled
Halftime set:

  • “Rock This Town”
  • Audience participation card trick
  • “Tutti Frutti”
  • “Do You Love Me”
  • “Devil with a Blue Dress On”
  • “Great Balls of Fire”
  • “Greased Lightnin'”
  • “True Love”