A History of Super Bowl Introductions

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It is the ultimate broadcasting moment of the year, the introduction to the Super Bowl.

Currently shared between three US networks, each year we are treated to a grand production, usually in the range of 120 seconds to get us hyped for the big game.

They always play on emotions, usually build up the adrenaline and more often than not, hit the mark.

In preparation for Super Bowl LVI this coming Monday, we went down a YouTube rabbit hole and found a whole bunch of them from the previous years.

Think this is just another game?

Not even close!

Super Bowl XXXV – CBS

Even going back to the 2000 NFL season, the broadcasters were bringing out legends to reminisce on their glory days.

Although this is relatively tame compared to some of the other entries on this list.*

*While we’ve done what we can, some of these videos may require a trip to YouTube itself to watch them as the NFL is not a fan of embedding from certain sources.

Super Bowl XXXVI – Fox

The first Super Bowl after September 11 saw this patriotic themed display from Fox, as Pat Summerall, commentating his final game, featured here as well as players from St Louis and New England.

Super Bowl XXXVII – ABC

Hank Williams Jr and Kid Rock, the combination that apparently someone asked for.

Super Bowl XXXVIII – CBS

Everything is bigger in Texas and for the first Super Bowl at the home of the Houston Texans, CBS went big.

Of course most people don’t remember this game for anything other than Janet Jackson’s halftime performance.

Super Bowl XXXIX – Fox

For a clash between New England and Philadelphia, Fox called on Boston native Michael Chiklis and the Fresh Prince Will Smith for this contrasting introduction.

Super Bowl XL – ABC

The last Super Bowl on ABC began with this introduction to tee up the Seahawks taking on the Steelers.

That NFL on ABC music is epic though.

Super Bowl XLI – CBS

NFL players come from all over America and CBS went for the “humble beginnings” approach for this introduction.

Super Bowl XLII – Fox

Fox threw out this video for their pregame show with Travis Barker and DJ AM.

But the real highlight of the game was this video narrated by Russell Crowe, unfortunately there would be no perfection on the day for New England.

Super Bowl XLIII – NBC

Simple, straightforward and familiar.

NBC threw out Faith Hill with her familiar refrain of the Sunday Night Football theme

Super Bowl XLIV – CBS

This one might be the ultimate gold standard when it comes to these introductions.

Jay-Z performing “Run This Town” with E.S. Posthumous who perform the NFL on CBS theme was phenomenal.

Super Bowl XLV – Fox

Not every Super Bowl introduction is a hit and this is one of those ones that just didn’t quite land.

Even with Michael Douglas narrating, going for the historical events angle (in a game featuring two historic franchises) wasn’t quite the emotional journey they were hoping it would be.

Super Bowl XLVI – NBC

Faith Hill bid farewell to the “Waiting All Day” song with this effort ahead of the Patriots and Giants facing off in Indianapolis.

Super Bowl XLVII – CBS

E.S. Posthumous returned but this time they were doing the ultimate stadium song, We Will Rock you.

Joe Namath’s opening line gave it the perfect setup, “how many days in your life, do you remember forever?”

Super Bowl XLVIII – Fox

When the Super Bowl went to New York & New Jersey to wrap up the 2013 NFL season, they went for a fairly understated open for their pregame show.

At least the team introductions with Kurt Russel were kind of fun.

Super Bowl XLIX – NBC

After replacing Faith Hill following the Pats-Giants game, NBC gave Carrie Underwood the open for the best Super Bowl of all time between the Patriots and Seahawks.

It was just a simple reworking of her “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night” song that we’ve heard on Sunday Night Football for the last several seasons.

Super Bowl 50 – CBS

Granted the honour of broadcasting the 50th Super Bowl, CBS went left field for their introductions, bringing in a plethora of celebrities and going for a kooky vibe that never quite landed.

If that aired an hour before the game as part of the pregame, it would have been hilarious, but to prepare the audience for the Super Bowl?

It just took too long to get to the point.

Super Bowl LI – Fox

Fox went for the nostalgia angle for their opening of the Patriots-Falcons Super Bowl.

Recapping some of the highlights of the last half century and setting the stage for the Patriots and Falcons.

Super Bowl LII – NBC

The last time the big game aired on this network, Carrie Underwood had the opportunity to debut her new song with Ludacris, The Champion.

It’s pretty easy to screw up a song for a specific sporting event but combined with the footage of NFL legends (and Nick Foles), this hit all the right marks and got us ready for an epic Super Bowl between New England and Philadelphia.

Underwood will once again be front and centre for this year as the big game is back on NBC.

Super Bowl LIII – CBS

The graphics department worked overtime putting this one together before the thunder and lighting “warriors” angle.

Then came a heavily scripted and overly prepared skit featuring Peyton Manning and John Malkovich trying to poke fun at the over the top productions of the past.

Just like three years before, it took way too long to get to the point and featured jokes that Manning had already told at least half a dozen times in the fortnight building up to the game.

Super Bowl LIV – Fox

Fox called on Thanos/Cable to narrate the introduction for the Super Bowl in the NFL’s 100th season.

They had the star players from the Chiefs and 49ers talking about their hometowns and the people who helped them reach the NFL.

Teamed with The Rock’s superb team introductions and you had a pretty spectacular beginning to Super Bowl LIV.

Super Bowl LV – CBS

As the 2020, pandemic affected NFL season drew to a conclusion, there was only one angle they could take with this video.