Stevie Wonder and Gloria Estefan Super Bowl Halftime Show


Super Bowl XXXIII was originally set to take place at the Candlestick Park stadium. However, the NFL owners later rescinded on their decision when it came apparent that there was a risk the planned renovations to the stadium would be delayed. Instead, during an NFL owners meeting on October 31, 1996, Super Bowl XXXIII was awarded to Pro Player Stadium, Miami. The other cities that had been taken into consideration during the bidding process included Atlanta, Tampa, and Los Angeles. The owners’ original intention had been to select only two hosts from the three for Super Bowls XXXIII and XXXIV. However, the strength of the bids led to the committee naming the next three Super Bowl hosts:

  • XXXIII: Miami, Pro Player Stadium
  • XXXIV: Atlanta, Georgia Dome
  • XXXV: Tampa, Raymond James Stadium

Super Bowl XXXIII was played between the AFC’s Denver Broncos and NFC’s Atlanta Falcons on January 31, 1999, at the Pro Player Stadium, Miami, to decide which team would be crowned champions of the 1998 football season.

The Broncos repeated their previous year’s victory, defeating the Falcons with a score of 34-19.

Notable for:

  • On the evening before the Super Bowl, Falcon’s Eugene Robinson was arrested for attempting to solicit the services of a prostitute. Although he was released from police custody and permitted to play the game, he lost the respect of the fans. In an ironic twist to the incident, on the morning Robinson had been arrested, he had been awarded the Bart Starr Award for being a player of “high moral character.”

Denver got off to a great start. By the second quarter, they had built a 17-3 lead, which included an 80-yard touchdown pass from John Elway to Rod Smith. Atlanta spent the rest of the game trying to recover but to no avail.

Elway was named the MVP and, at the age of 38 years old, was the oldest player in Super Bowl history to win this accolade. In what was to be the final game of his career, he successfully completed 18 of 29 passes for 336 yards. He also produced an interception, scored one touchdown, and one rushing touchdown.

Final Score: Denver Broncos (AFC) 34 – Atlanta Falcons (NFC) – 19
Date: January 31, 1999
Stadium: Pro Player Stadium, Miami, Florida
MVP: John Elway, Quarterback
Favorite: Broncos by 7.5
Referee: Bernie Kukar
Attendance: 74,803

Pregame: The show captured the merriment of a Caribbean Cruise; featuring rock band KISS
Anthem: Cher (American Sign Language performance by Speaking Hands)
Coin Toss: Raymond Berry, Roosevelt Brown, Art Donovan, Frank Gifford, Sam Huff, Tom Landry, Gino Marchetti, Don Maynard, Lenny Moore, Jim Parker and Andy Robustelli
Half time: Stevie Wonder/Gloria Estefan/Big Bad Voodoo Daddy/tap dancer Savion Glover.
Halftime theme: Celebration of Soul, Salsa, and Swing
Halftime set list:

  • “Go Daddy O” (Big Bad Voodoo Daddy)
  • “Sir Duke” (Stevie Wonder)
  • “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” (Stevie Wonder)
  • “I Wish” (Stevie Wonder)
  • “Oye!” (Gloria Estefan)
  • “Turn The Beat Around” (Gloria Estefan)
  • “You’ll Be Mine (Party Time)/Another Star/My Cherie Amour” (Gloria Estefan and Stevie Wonder)