Remember When: Janet Jackson Sparked Nipplegate at the Super Bowl?

By: Celebuzz / January 31, 2009

It’s that time of year again; one the most-watched U.S. TV broadcasts of the year, which is almost considered a national holiday, is upon us! No, it’s not the Oscars! It’s Super Bowl Sunday, which is also is the second-largest food consumption day in the nation, following Thanksgiving.

And to commemorate this day, let’s take a look back in time at what turned out to be biggest key play in Super Bowl history. During Super Bowl XXXVIII, which took place on February 1, 2004, Justin Timberlake fumbled a play with Janet Jackson midway through the game.

TiVos across America went into overdrive and the Federal Communications Commission quickly called it a “classless, crass and deplorable stunt.” CBS made halftime performers apologize before they would consider allowing them to appear on the Grammys. Timberlake said okay; Jackson didn’t.

The fallout: An FCC probe into what many are still calling the most titillating game in Super Bowl history.

Relive the moment that sparked myriad heated debates, fines and rules, and instantly secured itself a place in Super Bowl legend:

The FCC mandated that non-cable TV channels cannot air “obscene” material at any time,  or “indecent” material between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. They defined “obscene” as describing sexual conduct “in a patently offensive way” and lacking “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.”

This year’s halftime show promises to be, well…less titillating, with a performance by rock legend Bruce Springsteen.

Even so, his halftime appearance has gotten a lot more attention than any game-related story line. The Boss was very coy at a press conference in Tampa, divulging that he didn’t know a lot about football and that one of the main reasons he agreed to do the show was to promote his new album.

Up until a few days ago, a number of betting sites were actually taking bets on what Bruce and the E Street Band would be playing in their 12-minute set.

Those bets are now closed, but check out this partial playlist.