2000s: Notable Pop Culture Moments
NFL cornerback Jason Sehorn surprised actress Angie Harmon by coming on stage during her interview with Jay Leno, getting on one knee and popping the question. The two married on June 9, 2001.
<i>Monday Night Football</i> hires Dennis Miller
ABC hired the esoteric comedian as part of the program's major shake-up (which also included the addition of analyst Dan Fouts and sideline reporters Eric Dickerson and Melissa Stark). He lasted two seasons before making way for John Madden, who would sign a four-year, $20 million contract to team with Al Michaels.
<i>Hard Knocks</i> debuts
HBO gave NFL fans an unprecedented look at every aspect of the Baltimore Ravens' training camp with this reality series that still lives on today.
Shaq guest stars on <i>Curb</i>
In the <i>Curb Your Enthusiasm</i> episode titled <i>Shaq</i>, the then-Lakers big man was tripped by Larry, who was sitting courtside. The two later got into a fight over a Scrabble game while Larry visited Shaq in the hospital.
U2 at Super Bowl XXXVI
A few months after the Sept. 11 attacks, U2 gave an emotionally stirring performance during halftime while a banner in the background scrolled through the names of those who lost their lives.
Joe Namath's interview with Suzy Kolber
In an interview during the Jets-Patriots game on <i>Monday Night Football</i>, the legendary Jets quarterback, who later admitted he had been drinking, told the ESPN sideline reporter that he wanted to kiss her. Kolber responded, "Thanks, Joe. I'll take that as a huge compliment."
Rush Limbaugh's comments about Donovan McNabb
On ESPN's <i>Sunday NFL Countdown</i>, the radio host said of the Eagles' quarterback, "I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team." Limbaugh resigned a few days later.
<i>Fever Pitch</i> rewrite
After the book and movie (about the Arsenal soccer team) were big successes in London, the Farrelly brothers made the movie for the U.S. audience. The Red Sox were the subject of the film, and since Boston hadn't won the World Series since 1918, the script called for the lead character, played by Jimmy Fallon, to see his team fail again. However, as filming was completed, the Red Sox continued to advance through the playoffs and eventually won the World Series, causing the ending to be rewritten on the fly.
Terrell Owens/Nicolette Sheridan skit
In an intro to <i>Monday Night Football</i>, the <i>Desperate Housewives</i> star appeared, in character, with nothing but a towel while trying to seduce Owens during a locker room meeting. ABC, which was seeking to cross-promote Sheridan's series, apologized the next day for the "inappropriate" bit.
Janet Jackson's 'wardrobe malfunction'
To recap for those who don't remember the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII: Jackson was performing with Justin Timberlake, he ripped off part of her shirt and her breast was exposed to the nation.
Ashlee Simpson at the Orange Bowl
A few months after getting busted for lip-synching on <i>Saturday Night Live</i>, Simpson gave a dreadful halftime performance of her song <i>La La</i> before a crowd of more than 77,000 and was booed off the stage.
Brent Musburger discovers Jenn Sterger
During a Florida State-Miami game, the FSU fan became an Internet sensation after the play-by-play man spotted her in the crowd and said that "1,500 red-blooded Americans just decided to apply to Florida State."
<i>Friday Night Lights</i> debuts
The NBC drama, inspired by the movie of the same name, became one of the more critically acclaimed shows of the decade despite low ratings and constant cancellation threats.
Joel Zumaya's <i>Guitar Hero</i> injuries
The Tigers' hard-throwing rookie reliever missed three games of the 2006 American League Championship Series because of a sore wrist, which general manager Dave Dombrowski later said was the result of too many hours spent playing the popular PlayStation game.
Emmitt Smith wins <i>Dancing with the Stars</i>
After Evander Holyfield (Season 1) and Jerry Rice (Season 2) failed to get the job done before him, the NFL's all-time leading rusher became the first athlete to win the show, in Season 3.
Don Imus disparages Rutgers women's basketball team
The morning radio host referred to the Lady Scarlet Knights as "nappy-headed hos." A week later, amid outrage over his remark, Imus was fired from his CBS Radio show and its MSNBC simulcast. Imus has since joined WABC Radio and recently signed a multiyear deal with Fox Business Network to simulcast his program.
Jimmy Kimmel's <i>Monday Night Football</i> ban
During the 2007 season, ESPN tried to add star power to <i>Monday Night Football</i> by bringing a variety of guests into the booth. The results weren't good, but Kimmel definitely added some spice in his stint. Among the statements that got Kimmel banned from making future appearances: ''I'd also like to welcome [fired <i>MNF</i> analyst] Joe Theismann, watching from his living room with steam coming from his ears''; and, ''What impressed me most is that [Tom Brady] could impregnate two models''; and, "Are you allowed to bet legally on this game?"
Mike Patrick's bizarre Britney Spears comment
Just as Georgia was about to run a play against Alabama with the game on the line in overtime, the ESPN play-by-play man said to his partner, Todd Blackledge, "I've got an important question." Blackledge's response was, "Go ahead." Patrick then baffled everyone listening by asking, "What's Britney doing with her life?"
Peyton Manning hosts <i>Saturday Night Live</i>
Other athletes have garnered good reviews for hosting the late-night show, but few received the accolades Manning got. The highlight was a United Way spoof in which the quarterback berated young kids.
Beyonce graces cover of SI Swimsuit Issue
For the first time in the magazine's history, <i>Sports Illustrated</i> chose a musician -- and one who was red hot at the time -- for its coveted cover.
Amanda Beard in <i>Playboy</i>
The Olympic swimming gold medalist and SI Swimsuit model became the fourth athlete to appear on the cover of <i>Playboy</i>. "I do something if I feel comfortable doing it, and if I feel my family will get behind me on it, I couldn't care less what other people think," Beard told SI of her photo spread. "I work extremely hard to get the body that I have, so I kind of want to flaunt it a little bit before it goes away."
Shaq disses Kobe in rap
Five days after Bryant's Lakers lost to the Celtics in the NBA Finals, TMZ released video of the Diesel freestyling at a nightclub. Shaq appeared to be reveling in his former teammates's tough Finals loss, as he repeatedly sang, "Kobe, tell me how my a-- tastes."
Tony Romo/Jessica Simpson getaway
During a bye week before a Cowboys playoff game, the quarterback and his then-girlfriend headed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for some fun in the sun. Many fans and media members questioned the timing of the trip, and the criticism only intensified a week later after Romo finished 18-of-36 for 201 yards with one touchdown and one interception in a loss to the Giants.
Mike Tyson appears in <i>The Hangover</i>
The tough guy with a checkered past surprised moviegoers with a memorable cameo in which he played air guitar and sang Phil Collins' <i>In the Air Tonight</i>.
Artie Lange goes nuts on <i>Joe Buck Live</i>
The <i>Howard Stern Show</i> sidekick hijacked the debut episode of Buck's talk show by going on profanity-laced rants that made even HBO blush.