Last night during the Super Bowl, Florida Man streaked his way into America’s hearts. With nearly five minutes remaining in the game, Florida Man (real name: Yuri Andrade) ran onto the field donning a Borat-style swimsuit. Andrade managed to elude several Raymond James Stadium security guards before sliding at the one-yard line, where he was besieged by security. (Writer commentary: if you’re gonna streak, you better score.) It was the most entertaining part of what was an otherwise lackluster Super Bowl. Watch the clip below with commentary by Westwood One play-by-play announcer and national treasure Kevin Harlan.
Andrade’s Borat Run is the latest in a series of crazy NFL game interruptions. Let’s take a look back at some other notable NFL game interruptions.
Mark Roberts, Professional Streaker
Florida Man was not the first fan in a thong to interrupt a Super Bowl that Tom Brady has played. Known for his streaking antics in Europe, Mark Roberts finally struck in the United States on the NFL’s biggest stage. At the start of the second half in Super Bowl XXXVIII, he snuck onto the field disguised as a game official. The Brit ran onto the field, stripped down to nothing but a thong, and danced. Roberts was eventually tackled by members of the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers and escorted off the field by Houston’s finest. He made his second NFL appearance in 2008 during a New York Giants–Miami Dolphins game at Wembley Stadium. Roberts retired from his streaking antics following a tutu-clad appearance during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Super Bowl Power Outage
Another famous NFL game interruption came nine years later in Super Bowl XLVII. The Baltimore Ravens had a firm grasp on the game with a 21-6 halftime lead over the San Francisco 49ers. Beyonce (with Destiny’s Child) had just finished with her halftime show and the second half was getting underway. Then, the lights went out at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. The game was delayed for 34 minutes as the NFL and Superdome facilities staff scrambled to get power restored. Power was eventually restored and the game resumed. The 49ers amassed an epic comeback, only to fall short on their final drive. Ironically, a part that was INSTALLED TO PREVENT BLACKOUTS caused the issue. New Orleans isn’t slated to host another Super Bowl until 2025, so hopefully, we won’t have another outage.
Monday Night Power Outage
The 49ers are no strangers to power outages becoming a game interruption in spotlight games, though. On December 18, 2011, the 49ers hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers at Candlestick Park on NFL Monday Night Football. Not only did the power go out once, but TWICE. The first power outage occurred before kickoff and delayed the start of the game by 20 minutes. The second power outage occurred in the beginning of the second quarter and the game was delayed by another 15 minutes. Following the game, it was determined that blown transformer had caused the power outage. The 49ers won the game, 20-7. The 49ers left Candlestick Park at the end of the 2013 season and now play at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
The Heidi Game
Perhaps the most notorious NFL game interruption happened on November 17, 1968. A game between the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders was up against the three-hour time slot allotted by NBC. The Jets scored a touchdown to go up 32-29 with 1:05 remaining in the game. As the game came back from commercial, viewers on the East Coast did not return to the game. They returned to the beginning of children’s movie Heidi. We’ll let the Pro Football Hall of Fame explain what happened.
Network executives had cut away, believing New York’s lead was safe with so little time remaining. They were wrong. A 20-yard pass by Daryle Lamonica and a 15-yard penalty put the Raiders into Jets territory. Then, halfback Charlie Smith, isolated on Hudson’s replacement, ran by the safety and hauled in a 43-yard touchdown pass with 42 seconds left to put Oakland ahead 36-32.Pro Football Hall of Fame, November 7, 2003 (profootballhof.com)
The Raiders scored again on a fumbled kickoff by the Jets’ Earl Christy, winning the game, 43-32. “The Heidi Game” did change one thing: the popularity of pro football meant that the networks would no longer preempt the end of a game for other scheduled programming.