On Sunday, a power surge resulted in a 34 minute delay during Super Bowl XLVII. Coming just moments after the Beyoncé halftime show and an opening half touchdown kickoff return, the delay arguably slowed the momentum of the Baltimore Ravens and gave the San Francisco 49ers time to regroup. At the time of the delay, the Ravens had the 49ers in a deep hole, leading by 22 points and pounding the 49ers' offense.
While inconvenient, the outage was not the first time a championship sporting event has been delayed by “uncontrollable” or natural events. Here are the top five other noteworthy outages or delays that impacted a championship sporting event.
1. 1989 World Series
Maybe one of the most memorable delays in sports history, Game 3 of the 1989 World Series between Bay Area rivals the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants was postponed due to an earthquake. The 15-second Loma Prieta earthquake occurred moments before the game, measuring a 6.9 on the Richter scale.
The series was resumed 10 days later, and the A’s swept the series 4-0.
2. 2008 World Series
Rain delays are a normal occurrence in baseball games. In recent years, they have become somewhat of a pain in the rear for the fans who must endure them. Because of TV viewers and other economic factors, baseball owners are reluctant to postpone a game, so they will let a delay go for hours.
But in the 2008 World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays it rained so much that two games — Game 3 and 5 — were postponed. It rained so hard that Game 5 started on a Monday and didn’t resume until Wednesday. Game 5 was the first rain shortened game in World Series history and the first suspension.
In fact, the weather turned so severe that the “Boys of Summer” playing in the “Fall Classic” were forced to wear winter gear – specially made baseball caps with ear flaps. The caps were known as the “Elmer Fudd” look after the Bugs Bunny cartoon character. The caps had been manufactured during spring training and this was the first time they had been used in a World Series game.
The Phillies won the series, 4 games to 1.
3. 1993 Heavyweight Boxing Championship
The World Boxing Association heavyweight championship between Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield was delayed when a fan parachuted into the stadium. James Jarett Miller was a parachutist and paraglider who became famous as the “Fan Man” for staging high-flying stunts during sporting events.
On November 6, 1993, he staged his first and most famous stunt. He paraglided over Caesars Palace during the Bowe-Riddick fight for 10 minutes before crashing into the ring during the seventh round of the fight. He was attacked by security, knocked unconscious, hospitalized and fined.
Fox Sports Net ranked this incident as its #1 "Most Outrageous Sports Moment," and in 1996, The Simpsons referenced the incident in its "The Homer They Fall" episode.
4. 1988 Stanley Cup Finals
The Edmonton Oilers and the Boston Bruins met to decide who would be crowned the 1988 Stanley Cup winner and the champion of the National Hockey League. The Oilers swept the series 4-0, but not before Game 4 was postponed due to a power outage. The score was tied 3-3 when a power failure caused such severe condensation that a heavy fog engulfed the ice. The game was cancelled and rescheduled to be played as Game 7, if necessary.
It wasn’t necessary. The Oilers won Game 5 6-3, and that was all she wrote for the 1988 Stanley Cup Finals.
5. 1990 Stanley Cup Finals
Two years after the fog game of 1988, the Edmonton Oilers and the Boston Bruins met again for the 1990 National Hockey League Stanley Cup Finals. The Oilers had defeated the Bruins, and the Bruins were out for revenge. It was not to be, as the Oilers defeated the Bruins 4 games to 1. It was the Oilers' fifth Stanley Cup in seven years, and the first without Wayne Gretzky.
In Game 1, the lights went out during the overtime period causing a 25 minute game delay. Game 1 turned out to be a classic. It went into triple overtime and is the longest game in Stanley Cup Finals history.