Super Bowl XXXVII
|Super Bowl XXXVII|
|Date||January 26, 2003|
|Stadium||Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego|
|MVP||Dexter Jackson, Safety|
|Favorite||Raiders by 4|
|Future Hall of Famers|
Buccaneers: Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp. |
Raiders: Tim Brown, Jerry Rice, Rod Woodson.
|National anthem||Dixie Chicks|
|Coin toss||1972 Miami Dolphins: Don Shula, Bob Griese, Larry Csonka, Larry Little, Jim Langer, Nick Buoniconti, Paul Warfield|
|Halftime show||Shania Twain, No Doubt and Sting|
|TV in the United States|
|Announcers||Al Michaels, John Madden, Melissa Stark and Lynn Swann|
(est. 88.6 million viewers)
|Cost of 30-second commercial||US$2.1 million|
Super Bowl XXXVII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Oakland Raiders and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2002 season. The Buccaneers defeated the Raiders by the score of 48–21, winning their first ever Super Bowl. The game, played on January 26, 2003 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California, was the fifth Super Bowl to be held a week after the conference championship games. It was also the last Super Bowl to have been played in the month of January. Super Bowl XXXVI was the first to be played in February, due to the NFL postponing games for a week after the September 11 attacks. Starting with Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004, the Super Bowl has been permanently played in February.
It was the first time and last until 2014 in Super Bowl history that the league's #1 ranked offense (Raiders) was pitted against the league's #1 ranked defense (Buccaneers). However, the game is sometimes referred to as the "Gruden Bowl", because the primary storyline surrounding the game revolved around Jon Gruden. Super Bowl XXXVII is also referred to as the "Pirate Bowl" due to both team's pirate-themed mascots.  Gruden was the Raiders' head coach from 1998 to 2001, and then became the Buccaneers coach in 2002. Tampa Bay, "Gruden's new team", entered their first Super Bowl in team history after posting a 12–4 regular season record. Oakland, "Gruden's old team", advanced to their fifth Super Bowl after posting an 11–5 regular season record. This was also the first Super Bowl to feature two former division rivals, as the Buccaneers and Raiders both played in the AFC West in 1976.
The Raiders came into the game as four-point favorites. However, aided with Gruden's prior knowledge of his old team, the Tampa Bay defense dominated the contest. Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon threw a Super Bowl record five interceptions, three of which were returned for touchdowns. The Buccaneers also sacked Gannon five times, and scored 34 consecutive points to build a 34–3 lead late in the third quarter. Tampa Bay safety Dexter Jackson, who had two of those interceptions and returned them for 34 yards, was named Super Bowl MVP. Jackson became only the second safety and third defensive back to ever be named Super Bowl MVP.
Super Bowl XXXVII was originally awarded to San Francisco on October 15, 1997 by the NFL owners at a league meeting in Washington, D.C. The 49ers had recently announced plans for a new stadium, and were rewarded with the Super Bowl dependent upon its completion. However, the stadium plans had stalled by the fall of 1998, and thus the NFL reopened the bidding for the game. San Diego, who had lost out on Super Bowl XXXVI, announced its interest. The city was then awarded the game during the May 26, 1999 meeting at Atlanta. This was the last Super Bowl played in California until it was announced that Super Bowl L would be played at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Of the first 37 Super Bowls, 11 were played in California. It is also the last Super Bowl to date in which part of game was played in sunlight.
Later in 2003, California would host the Stanley Cup Finals, making it only the second time that the same state hosted both the Super Bowl and the Stanley Cup Finals in the same year, following California itself ten years earlier, when the Los Angeles Kings went to the finals four months after Pasadena hosted Super Bowl XXVII.
Jon Gruden helps rebuild the Raiders
After moving back to Oakland, California in 1995, the Raiders suffered sub-par seasons, including a 4–12 record in 1997. Under Gruden's leadership, the Raiders improved to 8–8 in both 1998 and 1999. The team was further boosted in 1999 with the signing of veteran quarterback Rich Gannon. With Gannon as quarterback, the team jumped to the fifth-best offense in the league.
The Raiders won the AFC West in 2000 with a 12–4 record and the best rushing offense in the league. However, they lost the AFC Championship Game to the eventual Super Bowl XXXV champion Baltimore Ravens, 16–3. Then, after signing veteran Pro Bowl wide receiver Jerry Rice and defensive tackle Trace Armstrong, the team repeated as AFC West champions in 2001, but were eliminated in the AFC Divisional Game to the eventual Super Bowl XXXVI champion New England Patriots in what became known as "The Tuck Game", in which a potential game-ending fumble recovery by the Raiders was overturned by instant replay.
Gruden is "traded" to the Buccaneers
Further information: 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season
Raiders owner Al Davis was known to have the lowest salaries for coaches in the league, and Gruden was no exception. Instead of paying a high salary for Gruden, Davis opted to trade the rights for Gruden to the Buccaneers in exchange for four draft picks, in a deal similar to what Patriots owner Robert Kraft made with the New York Jets to get head coach Bill Belichick in 2000. The Buccaneers ended up giving two first-round picks, two second-round picks and $8 million to the Raiders to get Gruden. Tampa Bay was desperate to have someone rebuild their offense so it would complement their powerful defense in an attempt to win the Super Bowl.
For most of their history, the Buccaneers were regarded as losers, only making the playoffs 3 times in their first 20 seasons. But all that changed when the team hired Tony Dungy as head coach in 1996. Dungy, along with his defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, rebuilt the defense around a core group of players such as defensive lineman Warren Sapp, linebacker Derrick Brooks, and defensive backs Ronde Barber and John Lynch. By 1997, Tampa Bay ranked 3rd in the league in total yards allowed, 2nd in 1998, and 3rd in 2000.
With one of the best defenses in the league, Dungy helped guide the Buccaneers to four playoff appearances in his six years as the team's head coach. But the team always had one of the worst offenses in the league, and this was a major factor in their playoff losses. Thus, Dungy was fired and replaced by Gruden.
Still, even Gruden had trouble getting the offense in sync during his first year as Tampa Bay's head coach. In 2002, the Buccaneers ranked 25th in the league in total yards gained (5,222). Quarterback Brad Johnson made the Pro Bowl, completing 281 out of 451 passes for 3,049 yards, 22 touchdowns, and only 6 interceptions. Running back Michael Pittman led the team in rushing with 718 yards and one touchdown, and caught 59 passes for 477 yards. Pro Bowl fullback Mike Alstott had 548 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns, and also had 35 receptions for 242 yards and 2 touchdowns. Wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson led the team with 76 receptions for 1,088 yards and 5 touchdowns, while wide receiver Keenan McCardell had 61 receptions for 670 yards and 6 touchdowns.
However, the Buccaneers' defense was still the strength of the team, leading the NFL in total defense (252.8 yards per game), pass defense (155.6 yards per game), points allowed (12.3 points per game), passing touchdowns allowed (10), interceptions (31), and opponent passer rating (48.4). Brooks, Lynch, Sapp and defensive end Simeon Rice all had Pro Bowl years. Brooks led the team with 87 tackles and excelled at pass coverage, recording 5 interceptions, 218 return yards, and 2 touchdowns, plus 1 fumble return and 1 on a lateral from Sapp after a Sapp interception for a total of 4 touchdowns (an NFL record for a linebacker). The defense as a whole had nine total touchdowns during the regular season and playoffs. Rice led the team with 15.5 sacks. Sapp recorded 7.5 sacks and 2 interceptions. Cornerback Brian Kelly was also a big asset, leading the team with 8 interceptions.
The Raiders win without Gruden
Despite the loss of Gruden in 2002, the Raiders under their new coach Bill Callahan still managed to earn a share of the AFC's best record at 11–5. The offense led the league in total passing yards (4,689) and ranked second in total yards gained (6,451).
Gannon had a Pro Bowl season, completing 418 out of 618 passes for 4,689 yards, 26 touchdowns, and with 10 interceptions. His 418 completions and his 10 games with over 300 passing yards were both NFL records. He also ran 50 times for 156 yards and 3 touchdowns. Rice, who was already the NFL's all time leader in nearly every receiving record after 17 seasons, had a Pro Bowl season for the 13th time in his career with 92 receptions for 1,211 yards and 7 touchdowns. Gannon's other weapons in passing game were 15-year veteran receiver Tim Brown (81 receptions for 930 yards and 2 touchdowns) and young receiver Jerry Porter (51 receptions for 688 yards and 9 touchdowns). Multi-talented running back Charlie Garner was the team's leading rusher with 962 yards and 7 touchdowns, while also leading all NFL running backs in receiving with 91 receptions for 941 yards and another 4 touchdowns. Running back Tyrone Wheatley was also a big contributor with 419 rushing yards and 71 receiving yards, while fullback Zack Crockett provided both of them with solid blocking and scored 8 touchdowns. Up front, their offensive line was led by 2 Pro Bowlers, guard Lincoln Kennedy and center Barret Robbins.
The Raiders' weakness was primarily on their defense, which ranked 25th in the league in passing yards allowed (3,787) and 12th in total yards (5,240). But veteran Pro Bowl safety Rod Woodson recorded 8 interceptions (which led the league) for 225 yards and 2 touchdowns. Up front, their line was anchored by defensive tackle Rod Coleman, who led the team with 11 sacks. Behind him, the team had a solid veteran linebacker, Bill Romanowski, who was playing in his 5th Super Bowl (after winning 2 championships with the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowls XXIII and XXIV, and 2 while playing for the Denver Broncos in Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII). Defensive back Tory James was also a big contributor with 4 interceptions.
Further information: 2002–03 NFL playoffs
The Buccaneers defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 31–6, and the Philadelphia Eagles, 27–10, in the playoffs, to make the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. Meanwhile, the Raiders were victorious against the New York Jets, 30–10, and the Tennessee Titans, 41–24. The Raiders won against the Titans through Gannon's pass-oriented offense.
Super Bowl pregame news
The Raiders entered the game favored to win in their first Super Bowl in 19 years. They were also the first franchise to appear in the Super Bowl in four different decades (1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 2000s; the 1990s was the only decade that they didn't appear in the Super Bowl). However, much of the media hype surrounded Gruden.
Much of the hype revolved around the Gruden trade prior to the season. This forced league commissioner Paul Tagliabue to issue a statement that he might ban all future trades for coaches involving draft choices because it might compromise the draft.
But a distraction for the Raiders was that starting center Barret Robbins went missing for most of the week leading up to the game and ended up in the hospital. Backup Adam Treu (a former Pro Bowler) replaced Robbins.
Television and entertainment
The game was broadcast in the United States by ABC with Al Michaels handling the play-by-play duties and color commentator John Madden, who became the first person to announce Super Bowls on different networks in consecutive years, having called Super Bowl XXXVI on Fox and then moving to ABC after Pat Summerall retired.
The NFC improved to 6–0 on Super Bowls broadcast on ABC. Melissa Stark and Lynn Swann served as sideline reporters. Chris Berman from Disney-owned corporate sibling ESPN hosted all the events. Berman was joined by fellow ESPN analyst Steve Young, Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick, and New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan.
The Super Bowl was the first of three major professional sports championship series ABC broadcast in 2003, as they would also broadcast the Stanley Cup Finals and the NBA Finals. Both the Super Bowl and the Stanley Cup Finals were hosted by Berman on ABC (Berman co-hosted the Stanley Cup Finals with John Saunders.) and took place in the state of California. The state of California had representation in both finals series. Gary Thorne, Bill Clement, and John Davidson mentioned all of these when they called the Stanley Cup Finals.
Before the game, a show called "Santana and Friends" performed on the field. Carlos Santana was joined by Beyoncé and Michelle Branch and sang truncated versions of "Oye Como Va", "The Game of Love", and "Foo Foo." ABC also aired a pre-game parking lot performance featuring Bonnie Raitt, The Goo Goo Dolls and Michael Bublé prior to the Santana and Friends segment.
In a nod to what the New England Patriots did the previous year in Super Bowl XXXVI, both teams were introduced as a team, rather than offensive and defensive starters, after highlights of their seasons were simulcast on the video boards in the stadium and on television. This has become a regular tradition starting with this Super Bowl.
To honor the 30th anniversary of the 17–0 undefeated, perfect season of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the following members of that team appeared during the coin toss ceremony: Don Shula, Bob Griese, Larry Csonka, Larry Little, Jim Langer, Nick Buoniconti, Paul Warfield.
Memorable television commercials that aired during the game included the "Terry Tate: Office Linebacker" Reebok ad and the Budweiser Zebra Referee. ADBOWL ranked FedEx's "Castaway" as the best commercial of the year.
No Doubt then sang their hit "Just a Girl" with lead singer Gwen Stefani ad-libbing lines like "I'm just a girl at the Super Bowl!" The show concluded with Sting performing "Message in a Bottle", in which Stefani joined midway through.
Bon Jovi appeared as part of the post-game ceremonies, performing "It's My Life" prior to the Vince Lombardi Trophy presentation and "Everyday" afterwards (most of the latter performance was not shown on ABC because the network cut to commercials).
The Raiders had a great chance to score a touchdown early in the game after cornerback Charles Woodson intercepted Buccaneers quarterback Brad Johnson's pass on the third play of the game and returned it 12 yards to the Tampa Bay 36-yard line. But 6 plays later, Tampa Bay defensive end Simeon Rice sacked Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon on third down, forcing Oakland to settle for kicker Sebastian Janikowski's 40-yard field goal to give them a 3–0 lead.
Buccaneers kick returner Aaron Stecker returned the ensuing kickoff 27 yards to the 29-yard line, then appeared to fumble the ball. Although the officials initially ruled that the ball was recovered by Oakland's Eric Johnson, the play was reviewed by instant replay and the fumble was overturned, and thus Tampa Bay retained possession. It showed that both of Stecker's knees were down and the ball didn't come loose until it hit the ground. Gruden and Stecker appeared upset at having to use a challenge so early in a game, when they both believed Stecker was clearly down.
On the first play of the drive, Brad Johnson completed an 11-yard pass to receiver Joe Jurevicius. Johnson's next 2 passes were incomplete, but he then completed a 23-yard pass to Jurevicius on third down to advance the ball to the Oakland 37-yard line. Running back Michael Pittman then rushed for a 23-yard gain to the 13-yard line. However on the next 3 plays, the Raiders defense limited the Buccaneers to a pair of incompletions and a 1-yard run. Kicker Martin Gramatica then made a 31-yard field goal to tie the game, 3–3.
Later in the period, a 17-yard punt return by Raiders defensive back Darrien Gordon gave Oakland the ball at their own 49-yard line. Gannon then threw an 8-yard pass to running back Charlie Garner to reach the Tampa Bay 43-yard line. But on third down, Buccaneers safety Dexter Jackson intercepted Gannon's pass at the 40-yard line and returned it 9-yards to near midfield. Then nine plays after the turnover, Gramatica kicked his second field goal from 43 yards to give Tampa Bay a 6–3 lead.
Jackson intercepted another pass on the Raiders' next drive and returned it 25 yards to Oakland's 45-yard line, making Jackson the first player ever to record 2 interceptions in the first half of the Super Bowl. However, the Buccaneers were unable to take advantage of the turnover and were forced to punt. Fortunately for Tampa Bay, they got a big assist from their punter Tom Tupa, who managed to pin Oakland all the way back at their own 11-yard line with his punt. The Raiders could not move the ball either, losing 1 yard on 3 plays with their ensuing drive. Tampa Bay punt returner Karl Williams then returned Shane Lechler's punt 25 yards, giving the Buccaneers great field position at Oakland's 27-yard line. Aided with Pittman's gains of 6 and 19 yards, the Buccaneers scored their first touchdown on a 2-yard run from fullback Mike Alstott, increasing their lead to 13–3. Then with 3:45 left in the half, Tampa Bay drove 77 yards, assisted by a pair of catches by Alstott for 28 total yards. Johnson finished the drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Keenan McCardell to give the Buccaneers a 20–3 halftime lead.
Tampa Bay continued to dominate the game for most of the third quarter. The Buccaneers forced the Raiders to punt on the opening drive of the second half. Next, Tampa Bay marched 89 yards on a 14-play drive that took 7:52 off the clock, and ended with Johnson's 8-yard touchdown pass to McCardell to increase their lead to 27–3. Then on the second play of Oakland's ensuing drive, Buccaneers defensive back Dwight Smith intercepted Gannon's pass and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown, making the score 34–3.
After giving up 34 points, Oakland finally managed to drive 82 yards down the field and score on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Gannon to wide receiver Jerry Porter. Although he was initially ruled as being out of bounds when he caught the ball, it was determined that Porter had both feet in the end zone. The two-point conversion failed, so the Raiders were still down 34–9.
The Raiders' touchdown seemed to fire up their defense, who forced the Buccaneers to a fourth down on their ensuing possession. Oakland linebacker Tim Johnson then blocked Tupa's punt, and linebacker Eric Johnson returned the ball 13 yards for a touchdown. Another two-point conversion for Oakland failed, but Tampa Bay's lead was cut to 34–15.
Tampa Bay responded by moving the ball to the Oakland 9-yard line on their ensuing drive, featuring a 24-yard run by Pittman, but they came up empty after Tupa fumbled the snap on a field goal attempt. A few plays later, Gannon threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jerry Rice with 6:06 left in the game, cutting the Raiders deficit to 34–21. The two-point conversion failed when Jerry Porter caught the ball but landed out of bounds. Though there was contact with a defender, the officials deemed the contact incidental rather than a force-out, and therefore that part of the play was non-reviewable.
In an attempt to prevent a Raiders comeback, the Buccaneers managed to run the clock down to 2:44 on their ensuing drive before being forced to punt. Then on third and 18 from the Oakland 29-yard line, Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks intercepted a pass from Gannon and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown, giving the Buccaneers a 41–21 lead with only 1:18 left. And a few plays later as the Raiders were now playing for pride, Dwight Smith intercepted a tipped pass and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown with only two seconds remaining. Gramatica kicked the extra point, and the Buccaneers were up 48–21. Raiders defensive tackle Chris Cooper returned Gramatica's kickoff 6 yards before being tackled by Jack Golden, and the game was over. With a 48–21 victory, the Buccaneers won their first-ever Super Bowl. Gannon after the game said his performance was "nightmarish".
As many sports fans and writers predicted, Gruden's prior knowledge of the Raiders was a major factor in the Buccaneers' win in Super Bowl XXXVII. The most damaging piece of evidence is NFL Films footage of Tampa Bay defensive back John Lynch telling his teammates during the game that almost all of the plays ran by Oakland's offense were plays that Gruden (who that week even played the part of "Rich Gannon" by playing QB with the scout-team offense) specifically told them to look out for. Better still for the Buccaneers was that Oakland hadn't changed their audible-calling signals that Gruden himself had installed, thus tipping off plays repeatedly. As a result, Tampa Bay dominated Oakland, outgaining them in total yards (365 to 269), rushing yards (150 to 19), first downs (24 to 11), offensive plays (76 to 60), and forced turnovers (5 to 1).
The Buccaneers became the first (and, as of Super Bowl XLIX, only) team in Super Bowl history to score three defensive touchdowns. The Cowboys (XXVII) were the only previous team to score multiple defensive touchdowns.
Johnson finished the game with 18 out of 34 completions for 215 yards and 2 touchdowns, with 1 interception, along with 10 rushing yards. Pittman was the top rusher of the game with 129 yards. Alstott was the game's second leading rusher with 15 yards and a touchdown, and had 5 receptions for 43 yards. Wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson was the Buccaneers' leading receiver with 6 catches for 69 yards. Smith recorded 2 interceptions, 94 return yards, and 2 touchdowns. He also added another 23 yards on a kickoff return.
Gannon finished the game 24 out of 44 for 272 yards and 2 touchdowns, but was intercepted a Super Bowl record 5 times. Garner was their leading rusher, but with only 10 yards, and caught 7 passes for 51 yards. Rice was the Raiders' leading receiver of the game with 5 catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. He became the first player to score touchdowns with two different teams in Super Bowls (Ricky Proehl and Muhsin Muhammad have since joined him). Wide receiver Marcus Knight returned 8 kickoffs for 143 yards.
Jerry Rice and Bill Romanowski joined Gene Upshaw as the only players to appear in Super Bowls in three different decades. Rice played in Super Bowls XXIII, XXIV, and XXIX. Romanowski played in Super Bowls XXIII, XXIV, XXXII, and XXXIII; the Raiders' loss prevented Romanowski from joining Charles Haley as the only NFL player to earn 5 Super Bowl rings (Haley was also with the 49ers for Super Bowls XXIII and XXIV, and later earned rings when the Dallas Cowboys won Super Bowls XXVII, XXVIII, and XXX). The Raiders became the first team to appear in Super Bowls under four different head coaches. John Rauch coached them in Super Bowl II, John Madden (who himself called Super Bowl XXXVII on ABC), coached them in Super Bowl XI and Tom Flores coached them in Super Bowl XV and XVIII.
The teams combined for the most second half points in a Super Bowl with 46 (28 for Tampa Bay and 18 for Oakland) and the second most total points in a game with 69, tying Dallas and Buffalo who combined for 69 points in Super Bowl XXVII.
Source: NFL.com Super Bowl XXXVII
Neither team made the playoffs the next season as Tampa Bay finished 7–9 and Oakland finished 4–12. Furthermore, Tampa Bay finished 5–11 in 2004, becoming the first Super Bowl winning team to follow up with consecutive losing seasons. Callahan would be one of four coaches fired by the Raiders from 2003 to 2008, seasons all with at least 11 losses each.
As of the 2014 season, this is the last playoff win for the Buccaneers, while the Raiders have not made the playoffs since.
In January 2013, Callahan was publicly accused of sabotaging Super Bowl XXXVII by several former players. According to comments by Tim Brown and others, the Raiders struggled on offense during Super Bowl XXXVII because of Callahan changing the game plan from a heavy run attack to a heavy passing one on the Friday before the game. Brown offered no proof for the sabotage claim, but said: "this is the problem we have, because of [Callahan's] relationship with Gruden, because of his disdain for the Raider organization; that's what makes people get to that conclusion." Rich Gannon defended Callahan, but did suggest that Oakland may have been disadvantaged by Callahan's failure to change the terminology for play calls at the line of scrimmage. According to Gannon, the same play names had been used during Gruden's tenure as Raiders coach, and Gruden had taught his Buccaneers defensive players these play names. Callahan denied the allegations, and later referred to the claim as "ludicrous and defamatory." Brown then backtracked from his comments a day later, denying having said that Callahan "sabotaged" the game.
On January 21, 2015, Brad Johnson admitted to bribing ball boys to alter the footballs used during the game. According to Johnson: "I paid some guys off to get the balls right. I went and got all 100 footballs, and they took care of all of them." He also stated that he "did nothing wrong", and that he talked to Rich Gannon beforehand and both agreed that they preferred not to use the slick, brand-new balls that the league provided for the game.
Notes and references