As a Wisconsin native, I have genetically acquired a passion for the Green Bay Packers. The last “small town” football team, the Green Bay Packers are the only non-profit community owned major league sports team in the United States. Growing up, church followed by the Packers was a Sunday tradition. It was much the same up and down the street – no traffic on the freeways, neighborhood bars raucous and rocking well into the evening.
The only thing better than a Sunday Packer game was Super Bowl Sunday – a party and a game – two, two, two mints in one! Venison sausage and chips, soda and Pabst. Spray cheese in a can. No dinner tonite, Super Bowl Sunday was the highlight of frigid Wisconsin Januarys.
As my grown-up family evolved, my household still rocked on Packer Sundays. My husband took over the remote most Sundays, the better to regurgitate that last play. But Super Bowl Sunday was watched without a pause, the better to catch the now wildly expensive, much hyped commercials.
You can watch most of the Super Bowl commercials on YouTube, but it was much more fun to catch them the first time around. Sometimes touching, often funny, the best of these commercials have been viewed so many times, these sponsors surely made their investments back many times over. Off the top of my head –
1973 – Noxzema Shaving Cream featuring Joe Namath and a lovely unknown, Farrah Fawcett
1980 – Pittsburgh’s Mean Joe Greene trading his game winning jersey for a Coke from an adorable young fan
1993- Michael Jordan and Larry Bird shooting an out of this world game of HORSE
2002 – Those magnificent Budweiser Clydesdales, bowing in tribute to the 9/11 New York skyline
Not always successful, some were too obscure, stupid or just plain boring to warrant the million dollar price tags; you have to wonder how many of these ad execs still had a job on Monday morning. The dot com commercials of 2000 spring to mind…
We’ll be watching this Sunday, calling out our favorites before the pundits get to it on Monday. See you there!