It’s the most shocking event in Super Bowl history that wasn’t a helmet catch. And now, with Justin Timberlake returning as Super Bowl halftime performer, we can all talk again about the most famous wardrobe malfunction in history.
In reality, it was the first. As Quartz notes, there is no recorded use of the word “wardrobe malfunction” in media until the night of Super Bowl 38. But because of the shock of the moment, combined with the recent rise of DVR technology, it became a moment that changed media forever.
For Sunday, sportsbooks are offering prop bets on mentions of wardrobe malfunctions. At 5Dimes, you could make big money betting on the broadcast saying “wardrobe malfunction” over 1.5 times during the game, which is priced at +380.
Important note: the words must be stated during the game, so any mentions after the halftime whistle or before the third quarter kickoff will not count.
Wadrobe Malfunction Prediction
There’s only one way this can happen: Chris Collinsworth. Al Michaels is a pro that likely won’t touch the subject, but Collinsworth is prone to mention more pop-culture relevant topics. Let’s say the end of the first half is slow. The broadcast team might start musing about the halftime show, where Collinsworth might make his first mention of the term. I don’t think we’ll hear it multiple times in one conversation.
The only chance we can hit over 1.5 mentions is if Collinsworth comes back to the phrase after halftime. Chances are small, but there’s a definite roadmap for this prop to hit.
History time. It’s important to remember that Justin Timberlake wasn’t even the halftime performer for SB39. Janet Jackson was the headliner, and Timberlake was a surprise guest. According to the halftime show’s producer Salli Frattini, the pair experimented with some sort of clothing removal choreography that did not feature nudity.
“During a Thursday rehearsal, the production team experimented with Timberlake pulling off Jackson’s skirt without involving nudity. The reveal was choreographed to take place as the song Rock Your Body lyrics culminated with Timberlake singing “gonna have you naked by the end of this song.”
The idea was nixed, but it’s still unclear why. Frattini has praised Timberlake in the past for his handling of the situation, but has not done the same for Jackson.
“I don’t believe she handled the situation as well as he did,” she told USA Today.
Before there was a viral video, there was Janet Jackson. After the Super Bowl, she quickly became the most-searched term in Internet history. In addition to the title phrase, the Jackson incident is also largely credited with the explosion of one of the internet’s biggest sites. The wardrobe malfunction didn’t put YouTube on the map, but Jawed Karim, one of the site’s co-founders, has said that the incident convinced him that a video-sharing service could be wildly successful.
During the game, this page will update with any mention of the term “wardrobe malfunction.”