Super Bowl XXXI was an American football game between the American Football Conference champion New England Patriots and the National Football Conference champion Green Bay Packers to decide the National Football League champion for the 1996 season. The Packers defeated the Patriots by the score of 35–21, earning their third overall Super Bowl victory, their first since Super Bowl II; the Packers extended their league record for the most overall NFL championships to 12. It was the last in a run of 13 straight Super Bowl victories by the NFC over the AFC; the game was played on January 1997 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. This Super Bowl featured two clubs that had returned to competitiveness. After 24 dismal seasons since Vince Lombardi left, the Packers' fortunes turned after head coach Mike Holmgren and quarterback Brett Favre joined the team in 1992. After four losing seasons, the Patriots' rise began in 1993 when Bill Parcells was hired as head coach, the team drafted quarterback Drew Bledsoe.
Under their respective head coaches and quarterbacks, Green Bay posted an NFC-best 13–3 regular season record in 1996, while New England advanced to their second Super Bowl after recording an 11–5 record. The game began with the teams combining for the most in Super Bowl history; the Packers scored 17 unanswered points in the second quarter, including Favre's then-Super Bowl record 81-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Antonio Freeman. In the third quarter, the Patriots cut the lead to 27–21 off of running back Curtis Martin's 18-yard rushing touchdown, but on the ensuing kickoff, Desmond Howard returned the ball a then-Super Bowl record 99 yards for a touchdown. The score proved to be the last one. Howard became the first special teams player to be named Super Bowl MVP, he gained a total of 154 kickoff return yards, recorded a then-Super Bowl record 90 punt return yards, thus tying the then-Super Bowl records of total return yards and combined net yards gained. This was the first Super Bowl broadcast by Fox under its first contract to carry NFL games.
By a large margin it was the highest-rated program aired in the network's history at the time. NFL owners awarded Super Bowl XXXI to New Orleans during their 1993 meeting in Chicago; this was the eighth time. After coach Raymond Berry benched and cut future CFL record-setting MVP and champion Doug Flutie before being fired himself in 1989, the Patriots had three more losing seasons, including a dismal 1–15 regular season record in 1990. In 1993, New England turned to veteran head coach Bill Parcells to lead the team, hoping to repeat the success he had with the New York Giants. Although the Patriots posted a 5–11 regular season record during Parcells' first year, eight of their losses were by 7 points or fewer. To Parcells' credit, much of the improvement was the result of the contributions from their draft picks that they made before the season: linebackers Willie McGinest and Chris Slade. Tight end Ben Coates became a major contributor as a favorite target of quarterback Drew Bledsoe, taken with the #1 overall pick in the 1993 draft.
With that improvement, the team was sold to Robert Kraft in January 1994 for a then-record price of $200 million. It was an astonishing price considering the Pats had long been considered a laughing-stock by local and national media as well as opponents, had one of the worst stadiums in the league. During the losing spell they had sold out, resulting in most games going without local television coverage. Sports in New England at that time centered on the beloved, successful and Red Sox, Bruins, not the NFL team orphaned in remote Foxborough, thirty miles outside Boston; the team posted a 10–6 record in 1994 after starting the regular season at 3–6, but were eliminated by the Cleveland Browns in their first playoff game. The Krafts had eliminated the practice of TV blackouts, the season resulted in a resurge of popularity in the NFL game across the region. New England had a let down and failed to make the playoffs in 1995, a year when many organizations were coming to grips with the new salary cap put in by the NFL to improve competition in the league.
In the offseason, Parcells hired his old Giants defensive coordinator, Bill Belichick, as assistant head coach and defensive backs coach. Part of the team's spotty performance that season might have been that the head coach and the new owner, did not get along well. Belichick came to serve during the 1996 season as the head coach's interface with the Kraft family and the non-football operations side of the business. After losing their first two games in the 1996 regular season with lackluster performances, the Patriots would run through the rest of the season competitive in every game, finishing with an 11–5 record and winning the AFC East; the Patriots' offense became the 7th-best unit in the league in terms of yards, 2nd-best in points. Their pass offense, led by Bledsoe and wide receiver Terry Glenn, ranked third in the NFL. Bledsoe threw for 27 touchdowns against 15 interceptions. Glenn set a rookie record with 90 receptions, which yielded 6 touchdowns. Tight end Ben Coates was a big contributor, catching 62 passes for 682 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Wide receiver Shawn Jefferson recorded 50 receptions for 771 yards and 4
Dessislava Stefanova is a Bulgarian soprano singer and folk choir director. She was named Bulgarian Woman of the Year 2017. Born in Stara Zagora, by age six Stefanova was training in western classical music, singing with children's folk music and dance ensemble Zagorche. On moving to Sofia to study linguistics at Sofia University, she was offered a place in the Filip Kutev National Folk Music and Dance Ensemble, sang professionally with them for three years, until she moved to the United Kingdom in 2000, she subsequently gained a master's degree in music at London's School of Oriental and African Studies and completed Estill Voice Training to level 3. She is a featured soloist on films including Troy, Brothers Grim, The Virgin Queen and Borat, on the games Halo 4 and Halo 5, she presented the Radio 3 documentary Bulgaria's Voice. She has performed with Balkan Beat Box. Stefanova formed the London Bulgarian Choir in 2000, winning BBC Radio 3's Open Choir of the Year in 2006, she has led the choir to record three albums, on three tours of Bulgaria, through collaborations with British Sea Power, the Turbans, Avshalom Caspi at the BBC Electric Proms and Nigel Kennedy.
She has been leading the Swiss Bulgarian Choir since 2011, leads workshops in the United Kingdom and the United States. Ethnomusicologist Caroline Bithell describes her skills: "In addition to the repertoire itself and an intimate knowledge of the cultural context of the songs she introduces, one of the most valuable things Dessi has to offer is at the level of vocal technique and timbre as she guides her students through a series of exercises designed to bring them closer to the Bulgarian sound." Dessislava Stefanova on IMDb
The 11th century BC comprises all years from 1100 BC to 1001 BC. Although many human societies were literate in this period, some of the individuals mentioned below may be apocryphal rather than accurate. 1089 BC: Melanthus, legendary King of Athens, dies after a reign of 37 years and is succeeded by his son Codrus. 1069 BC: Ramses XI dies, ending the Twentieth Dynasty. He is succeeded by Smendes I. 1068 BC: Codrus, legendary King of Athens, dies in battle against Dorian invaders after a reign of 21 years. Athenian tradition considers him the last King to have held absolute power. Modern historians consider him the last King, he is succeeded by his son Medon. 1050 BC: Philistines capture the Ark of the Covenant from Israel in battle. 1048 BC: Medon, King of Athens, dies after a reign of 20 years and is succeeded by his son Acastus. 1046 BC: King Wu of Zhou overthrows the last Shang Dynasty King Di Xin and becomes first king of the Zhou Dynasty founded by his father King Wen of Zhou. 1044 BC: On the death of Smendes I, king of Egypt, he is succeeded by two co-regents, Psusennes I and Neferkare Amenemnisu.
1042 BC: King Cheng of Zhou succeeds King Wu as ruler of the Zhou Dynasty in China. C. 1040 BC: David, King of Israel, is born. 1039 BC: Neferkare Amenemnisu, king of Egypt, dies. 1026 BC: Saul the King becomes the first king of the Israelites, according to the Books of Samuel. C. 1020 BC: Destruction of Troy VIIb2. 1020 BC: King Kang of Zhou succeeds King Cheng as ruler of the Zhou Dynasty in China. 1012 BC: Acastus, King of Athens, dies after a reign of 36 years and is succeeded by his son Archippus. 1000s BC: Earliest evidence of farming in the Kenya highlands. 1000s BC: Phoenician alphabet invented. 1003 BC: David succeeds Saul the King. C. 1000 BC: Latins arrive in Italy. See: List of sovereign states in the 11th century BC