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February 1, 2013
Super Bowl Super Bowl XLII -- 2008
The team: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Playbook: This was one of the most compelling Super Bowl games in recent memory. It came down to the final moments, defined by a surprising catch by Giants receiver David Tyree, who used his helmet to help snare the ball. The game was the most-watched Super Bowl of all time, with nearly 100 million viewers tuning in to see the New York Giants defeat the New England Patriots, 17-14. They also witnessed a slick 12-minute halftime performance by one of America's most unheralded superstars. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers showed up in suits, and powered through hits such as "American Girl," "I Won't Back Down" and "Runnin' Down a Dream," resulting in some easy stadium singalongs.
Result: A 40-yard punt return. A solid, workmanlike, respectable performance, one that went down without too much showboating. It got the job done, even if it wasn't first on the highlight reels.