Ed Souza / Stanford News Service 

Ed Souza / Stanford News Service 

The Road to Super Bowl XIX | A Look at the Bay Area’s Most Unique Super Bowl

January 21-March 27

While the normal rotation of Super Bowl games usually fell to just a handful of major cities, the 1985 game was awarded to Stanford University, only the fourth college stadium to host a Super Bowl game, and giving the 49ers and their fans a hometown advantage. 

Aside from the highly anticipated battle between the two quarterback legends, Joe Montana and Dan Marino, the game would go down in NFL history as one of most unique Super Bowls for reasons off the field. The then sitting president Ronald Reagan flipped the coin toss by satellite from the oval office on his second inauguration day. Apple Computer who launched the Macintosh the previous year via halftime commercial, followed up their success with one of the most notoriously chastised commercials, now used in advertising classes as a “how not to.”  However, they redeemed themselves by providing a now collectable Apple seat cushion to help with the splintering, wooden bench issue. These and other quirky pieces of trivia coupled with an interesting comparison to how we view and experience the Super Bowl game today will be featured in this exhibit, along with one of a kind collectables, autographs, clothing, and a rare look at an actual Super Bowl championship ring. 

With cooperation from long-time and former 49er organization employees and Stanford University, this exhibit will look back at not only the highlights of the game and influential players, but the quirky challenges that the Stanford stadium and City of Palo Alto faced in their quest to host the biggest sporting event of the year.