The Blues Brothers & James Brown & ZZ Top Super Bowl Halftime Show


Following an owner’s meeting that was held in Chicago on October 26, 1993, Super Bowl XXXI was awarded to New Orleans. This was to be the eighth time that New Orleans would host the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XXXI was played between the AFC’s New England Patriots and NFC’s Green Bay Packers on January 26, 1997, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans to decide which team would be crowned champions of the 1996 football season.

The Packers emerged triumphant with a score of 35-21.

Notable for:

  • In the late 1980s, neither of the teams that competed in Super Bowl XXXI had been considered to be winning teams. However, this Super Bowl was set to change perceptions of both teams.
  • This was the first Super Bowl to be broadcast by Fox, and it attracted the highest viewing figures the broadcaster had ever seen.

The game got off to an exciting start with a Patriots and Packers combined score of 24 by the end of the first quarter being the highest in Super Bowl history. However, the Packers went on to dominate the second quarter, scoring 17 unanswered points, which included a record-breaking 81-yard touchdown pass from Favre to Freeman. The Patriots fought back in the third quarter, cutting the Packer’s lead to 27-21 thanks to an impressive 18-yard rushing touchdown from Curtis Martin. However, the Packers quickly retaliated, and records were broken once again with Desmond Howard returning the ball 99 yards for a touchdown. This put an end to the scoring as both sides took a defense stance.

Desmond Howard was named MVP. During Super Bowl XXXI he had gained 154 kickoff return yards and recorded 90 punt return yards.

Final Score: New England Patriots (AFC) – 21 Vs. Green Bay Packers (NFC) – 35
Date: January 26, 1997
Stadium: Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
MVP: Desmond Howard, return specialist
Favorite: Packers by 14
Referee: Gerald Austin

Pregame: Show kicked off by Los Del Rio who performed “Macarena” after the dance craze that became a tradition in the Mardi Gras parade. Also featured country-rock star Mary Chapin Carpenter, accompanied by local Cajun band Beausoleil.
Anthem: Luther Vandross (American Sign Language performance by Erika Schwarz)
Coin Toss: Mike Ditka, Tom Flores, Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, George Seifert and Hank Stram
Halftime: Blues Brothers-Dan Akroyd/John Goodman/James Belushi/James Brown/ZZ Top.
Halftime theme: Blues Brothers Bash
Halftime set list:

  • “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” (The Blues Brothers)
  • “Soul Man” (The Blues Brothers)
  • “I Got You (I Feel Good)” (James Brown)
  • “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine” (James Brown)
  • “Tush” (ZZ Top)
  • “Legs” (ZZ Top)
  • “Gimme Some Lovin'” (all performers joined together)

The halftime show, “Blues Brothers Bash,” featured performances from Dan Akroyd, John Goodman, and Jim Belushi as the Blues Brothers. The show celebrated the blues music of New Orleans and also included performances by James Brown and ZZ Top.