Super Bowl XXXVII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Oakland Raiders and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2002 season. The Buccaneers defeated the Raiders by the score of 48–21, winning their first ever Super Bowl. The game played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California on January 26, 2003, was the fifth Super Bowl to be held a week after the conference championship games.
It was the first time in Super Bowl history that the league's #1 ranked offense (Raiders) was pitted against the league's #1 ranked defense (Buccaneers). However, the game is sometimes referred to as the "Gruden Bowl", because the primary storyline surrounding the game revolved around Jon Gruden. Gruden was the Raiders' head coach from 1998 to 2001, and then became the Buccaneers coach in 2002. Tampa Bay, "Gruden's new team", entered their first Super Bowl in team history after posting a 12-4 regular season record. Oakland, "Gruden's old team", advanced to their fifth Super Bowl after posting an 11-5 regular season record.
The Raiders came into the game as four-point favorites. However, with Gruden's prior knowledge of his "old" team, his "new" team's defense dominated the contest. Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon threw a Super Bowl record five interceptions, three of which were returned for touchdowns. The Buccaneers also sacked Gannon five times, and scored 34 unanswered points to build a 34-3 lead late in the third quarter. Tampa Bay safety Dexter Jackson, who had two of those interceptions and returned them for 34 yards, was named Super Bowl MVP. Jackson became only the second safety and third defensive back to ever be named Super Bowl MVP.
The attendance of 67,603 was the third-smallest ever for a Super Bowl game, trailing only Super Bowl I (61,946) and Super Bowl XXVI (63,130).
Famous quotes containing the word bowl:
“It seemed a long way from 143rd Street. Shaking hands with the Queen of England was a long way from being forced to sit in the colored section of the bus going into downtown Wilmington, North Carolina. Dancing with the Duke of Devonshire was a long way from not being allowed to bowl in Jefferson City, Missouri, because the white customers complained about it.”
—Althea Gibson (b. 1927)