TIght Ends

Touchdown: Ten Gay Super Bowl Scandals, Scenes And Sensations


On Sunday, much of America will be glued to its television sets as the New York Giants and the New Englanf Patriots face off in Super Bowl XLVI.

With Madonna doing the halftime show, Kelly Clarkson singing the national anthem and ads from Elton John and David Beckham (in his undies)—not to mention an anti-bullying ad from GLSEN playing in the stadium—it seems like the game’s producers are really going out of their way to court the gays. But we ‘mos need a little more encouragement. So Queerty’s compiled some of the most outrageously queer moments from Super Bowls past—from homoerotic commercials to homophobic players—in order to help fill you with the Super Bowl spirit. Go team!

Click through for a roundup of ten gay Super Bowl moments



(2010) The Ads That Never Aired, Part II: “Lola”

In 2010, domain-name registrar GoDaddy.com submitted this ad for placement in the Super Bowl. Oddly, it was rejected by CBS. Whether that’s because they thought it was too gay or too anti-gay is something you’ll have to take up with Lola.




(2011) The Ads That Never Aired, Part II:  “Told You So” and “The Sauna”

The ads above and below never actually aired during the Super Bowl—believe us, we’d remember! They were among the submissions in Doritos and Pepsi Max‘s 2011 ‘”Crash the Super Bowl” contest, in which viewers were encouraged to submit their own commercials. They stirred up an unnecessary controversy when a number of media outlets mistook them for actual ads that were scheduled to run. (And so what if they were? Sheesh!)

Anyway, the winning ad was no where near as entertaining—or hot—as these. Trust.



NEXT: Remember when Tim Tebow shilled for homophobes?



(2010) Focus on the Family’s Tim Tebow Ad

This pro-life ad sees Tim Tebow‘s mom, Pam, talking about how she almost lost Tim as a baby multiple times. The idea being what—anyone who needs to get an abortion is selfish? (And what is up with tackling a middle-aged woman?)

Though it goes against CBS’s policy of ruling out “contentious advocacy ads,” the network ran it anyway, setting off a firestorm of controversy.

What makes it queer (aside from our favorite piece of Christian beef, Tebow?): It was sponsored by Focus on the Family, the reactionary nonprofit that spends most of its time fighting against any acceptance of the LGBT community.

NEXT: Tackling old women on screen is okay, but two dudes making out is not?




(2010) The Ads That Never Aired, Part III: ManCrunch

The same year CBS approved Focus on the Family’s pro-life ad, it rejected this rather PG-rated one from gay-dating site ManCrunch.com. (We never heard of it either). First CBS claimed ManCrunch’s ad was under review. Then it formally rejected the clip because it was “not within the network’s broadcast standards for Super Bowl Sunday.”

Unlike, say, Old Milwaukee’s “Swedish bikini team” ads?

Still, even our gay asses have to admit this ad is just plain lame. Like, there’s no reason for these dudes to start making out. It just doesn’t make sense—and doesn’t look romantic at all. It makes us not want to use ManCrunch, because it looks like a dating site for closeted straight men who make out awkwardly at football parties. Perhaps CBS was just saving them some money?

NEXT: His name is Prince, and he is funky.


(2007) Prince’s Half-Time Show

Just a few years after Janet Jackson’s infamous wardrobe malfunction, the network hired The Artist Currently Known as Prince to perform at the half-time show. Though known for his risque lyrics and revealing clothing, Prince kept things pretty conservative—until he stepped behind a sheet holding a phallic guitar and gave America this image to ponder.


NEXT: Does Snickers really satisfy?


(2007) Snickers’ “Manly” Ad

In this ad, two mechanics accidentally lock lips while sharing a Snickers. (Hey, it happens!) To counteract their  un-masculine behavior, the men open their shirts and rip off a patch of their chest hair.

Um, fellas, manscaping is totes gay.

Though the ad seems to be poking fun at knee-jerk machismo, gay-rights groups didn’t see the humor. Maybe that’s because, before the ad was broadcast, viewers had the chance to vote for its ending online—and one option showed the men breaking into a fight. Or maybe because the website also featured clips of Super Bowl players reacting negatively to the kiss.

GLAAD and HRC complained to Mars Inc., Snickers’ parent company, and the commercial was pulled from further airings. “This type of jeering from professional sports figures at the sight of two men kissing fuels the kind of anti-gay bullying that haunts countless gay and lesbian school children on playgrounds all across the country,” HRC president Joe Solmonese said in a statement.

 NEXT: The nip slip that launched a thousand FCC complaints.



(2004) Janet Jackson’s Half-Time Show with Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake (intentionally?) ripping Janet Jackson‘s top and baring her jewel-encrusted titty is probably one of the most famous moments ever on live television. (Skip to 4:05 if you want to see the reveal.)

What makes this queer? Well, first of all, it’s Janet. We’re pretty sure we’re the only ones who listening to her music. Secondly, it’s J.T.—do women even find him sexual? And finally, nipple rings are gay. They just are.

NEXT: Sheryl Crow’s hairdresser will cut a bitch!



(2007) Sheryl Crow’s “Not Fade Away” Ad For Revlon

Revlon thought it had the perfect idea for a Super Bowl ad that would highlight its then-new Colorist hair-coloring system. Get rocker Sheryl Crow as the spokesperson and have her sing the song “Not Fade Away.”

In the clip, Sheryl uses Colorist to keep her hair radiant while she’s on tour. Everyone’s thrilled with the results, except Crow’s swishy hair stylist—who gives the bottle side-eyes from hell. But even that bitch comes around by the end.

What do you think—funny or offensive?

NEXT: A Super Bowl player makes a real fumble when it comes to marriage equality




(2011): NOM Hires Super Bowl veteran David Tyree

David Tyree, the former New York Giants wide receiver whose legendary “helmet catch” helped the team win Super Bowl XLII, started shilling for the National Organization for Marriage when the push for marriage equality started heating up in New York State.

In a nauseating (and probably scripted) interview, he says if same-sex marriage passed it “will be the beginning of our country sliding toward—it’s a strong word, but anarchy. You can’t teach something that you don’t have, so two men will never be able to show a woman how to be a woman.” Tyree added that he would trade his famous catch and the team’s Super Bowl title to keep marriage between a man and a woman. Oh yeah, sure.

Ironically—or perhaps intentionally—Tyree’s interview was posted by NOM just days after his former teammate Michael Strahan made a PSA in favor of marriage equality.


NEXT: Yes, Virginia, there is such thing as a gay pro football player!

(1984, 1999) Esera Tuaolo and Roy Simmons

Of the three professional football players who have come out in the history of the sport, two—Esera Tuaolo (above) and Roy Simmons (below)—played in Super Bowls. (David Kopay, the first player to announce he was gay, did not.)

Simmons, 56, was an offensive lineman for the Washington Redskins when the team played Super Bowl XVIII in 1984. After retiring in 1985, he announced he was gay on the Phil Donahue Show and later discussed his sexuality—as well as his experiences with child abuse, drug addiction and prostitution—in his autobiography, Out of Bounds. Simmons was diagnosed as HIV+ in 1997 and remained out of the public eye for many years, though he did on an episode of The 700 Club to discuss his emancipation from the gay lifestyle. Ugh, really?

Esera Tuaolo, who reached the Super Bowl in 1999 while playing tackle for the Atlanta Falcons, has a happier tale: He also came out after retiring from the NFL, in a 2002 episode of  HBO’s Real Sports. Since then Tuaolo’s worked with the NFL and the Gay and Lesbian Athletics Foundation to combat homophobia and testified at the State Legislature Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, in opposition to an anti-gay-marriage bill.

Tuaolo, 43, sang the national anthem at the opening 2006 Gay Games VII and shared his story on Oprah and The Tyra Banks Show. (His autobiography, Alone In The Trenches: My Life As A Gay Man In The NFL, came out in 2006). Though separated from his partner, he is the father of two adopted children. A trained singer, Tuaolo released his debut album, Esera, in 2009.


NEXT: A bonus entry from Jim McMahon!

BONUS: (1986) Jim McMahon Moons The Media

We couldn’t end this roundup without including this cheeky bonus entry. In the run-up to Super Bowl XX, reporters kept asking Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon about a contusion on his butt. Tired of all the questions, McMahon decided to show the injury to a news helicopter hounding one of the Bears’ pre-Bowl practices. The Bears went on to win their first Super Bowl that year; McMahon (contusion be damned), provided the team with a solid passing attack, throwing for 2,392 yards and 15 touchdowns, while also rushing for 252 yards and three touchdowns.

They just don’t make ’em like Jim McMahon anymore.