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Super Bowl is many things. An entertainment spectacle. An excuse for a party. A thrilling football game–sometimes. Other times, though, the game is the least interesting part of that Sunday evening. After all, Super Bowl isn’t a movie, or a pro wrestling match, or any other form of scripted entertainment. It’s a live sporting event. And some of those are just plain dull. After all, unless you’re a fan of the winning team, it’s no fun to sit through an entire blowout–even if you’re throwing the party of the year.
5 Super Bowl XXXV
A dominant defense doesn’t have to be dull. The Chicago Bears won Super Bowl XX as a cast of real characters annihilated the New England Patriots, 46-10. But the Baltimore Ravens of Super Bowl XXXV didn’t have the “Super Bowl Shuffle,” the “Fridge” or the “46 Defense.” Instead, they just went about their business and shut down the New York Giants. The problem for everyone else was, that meant the 34-7 game just wasn’t any fun.
4 Super Bowl XXVII
Buffalo had its chances while losing its four straight Super Bowls, including the infamous “Wide Right” loss in Super Bowl XXV. But the 52-17 blowout by the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XXVII was so bad, it’s best remembered for a bad play: Dallas defender Leon Lett getting caught from behind and stripped of the ball while showboating on his way to what should have been a record-setting touchdown.
3 Super Bowl XXIV
Between Super Bowl XXI and Super Bowl XXVIII, the Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills combined to represent the American Football Conference in seven of the eight games. And they lost all seven. No game represented that stretch of futility better than Super Bowl XXIV, when Denver gave up 55 points to the San Francisco 49ers, a record that still stands. It might have been an exciting game if the Broncos had scored, say, 45 points rather than a measly 10.
2 Super Bowl IX
Speaking of teams leaving the offense at home, Super Bowl IX was the lowest-scoring Big Game yet. It was truly a game only a defensive coordinator could love. The Pittsburgh Steelers managed all of 16 points, while holding the Minnesota Vikings to only 6. These teams were so allergic to points, the game was a baseball-like 2-0 at halftime and Minnesota missed the extra point attempt after its only touchdown.
1 Super Bowl VI
All you need to know about this “thriller” is that the Miami Dolphins managed three points against the Dallas Cowboys. Three. In 46 other Super Bowls before and since, no offense has displayed that level of ineptitude. Meanwhile, Dallas chewed up the clock on offense with its running game, producing 24 points and ensuring the game wasn’t even close enough to be bland, much less interesting.