History of Arizona and the Super Bowl
Super Bowl LVIII is set. The Kansas City Chiefs will face the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, NV on February 11, 2024.
With the biggest game in the NFL making its way to the desert, let's take a look back at Arizona's history with the Super Bowl.
The Arizona Cardinals have called Phoenix their home since 1988. In the time that they've lived in the Grand Canyon State, the Cardinals have only seen one Super Bowl appearance. Behind the leadership of legendary quarterback Kurt Warner in 2008, the Birds cruised through the Playoffs and were set to meet the Pittsburg Steelers in Tampa, FL for a chance to bring a trophy to Arizona.
The Steelers got off to a great start, leading 20-7 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but a rally by Arizona, scoring 16 unanswered points, led them back and put them in the lead for the first time that night. The Steelers had just under three minutes remaining, and with that, they marched their way downfield and were able to finish the drive with a touchdown leaving only 35 seconds on the clock. The Cardinals were unable to retaliate, and Pittsburg went on to win the game.
Despite a heartbreaking loss, the game itself was lauded by fans, and it remains the most-watched Super Bowl of the 2000s.
While the Cardinals have only made one Super Bowl in their program's history, Arizona has hosted several. The first hosted in the sun-drenched desert was Super Bowl XXX in 1996 between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburg Steelers, in which the Cowboys won 27-17.
The next time the Lombardi trophy made its way to Arizona was for Super Bowl XLII, a matchup between Tom Brady's undefeated New England Patriots and the Eli Manning-led New York Giants. With a helmet catch that has cemented itself in NFL history, the Giants were able to hand the Patriots their only loss of the season, winning 17-14.
Super Bowl XLIX was the next to find itself in Phoenix, seeing a matchup between the Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks. The game was one of the most riveting in recent memory, seeing New England storm back from a 10-point deficit late in the game before a game-sealing interception on the goal line solidified the Patriots fourth Super Bowl title, winning 28-24. This was the most-watched Super Bowl in history, drawing over 120 million viewers.
The last Super Bowl hosted in Arizona was Super Bowl LVII, a matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Eagles held a commanding lead at halftime, but Kansas City stormed back, ultimately winning 38-35.
Who To Root For
While the Cardinals may not be playing in this iteration of the Big Game, most football fans would prefer to choose one team to root for while watching.
For diehard Cardinals fans, the Chiefs are the right choice. The 49ers are divisional rivals, and it should be a no-brainer to hope Kyle Shanahan and his team fall short on Super Bowl Sunday.
On the other hand, Kansas City is now tied to Taylor Swift and is the media darling of sports. If you're tired of constantly hearing about Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes, or just don't want to see the Chiefs win back-to-back titles, the 49ers are your pick.
No matter who you root for come February 11th, the Super Bowl is a celebration of football, so if you're a fan in any capacity, make it the best day of the year.