I love football. I love the feeling I get in my gut that tells me I must scream loudly and bang on the furniture that surrounds me during an important play. I’m the girl that truly believes that my quarterback (through a telepathic, E.T./Elliott type connection) can hear my personal pleas to do a good job. I can even say that the feeling of defeat, while devastating and cataclysmic for us true fans (think of Mel Gibson‘s face when they betrayed him on the battlefield in Braveheart) gives me a sense of belonging to something bigger than myself. Needless to say I’m looking forward to the Super Bowl this weekend, and as a born-and-bred New Yorker I will be rooting for the Giants. Full disclosure, I am a Jets fan but since we couldn’t exactly get it together this season, I am happy to root against the evil empire and cheer on the home team.
I am also truly in awe of the organization that is the NFL. They have created the undisputed pop-culture event of the year – an event so all encompassing that if you don’t participate, you are not only left out of the water-cooler conversation, you are forbidden to take a drink. They truly have something for everyone; a chance for mom and son to celebrate (commiserate) over their team’s performance; a chance for dad to show daughter how to make his famous Ditka Chili; a chance for the ladies to laugh at the line-up of celebrities who get paid big bucks to make fun of themselves in commercials (I hear Elton John makes a cameo this year); and a chance for the men to swoon and enjoy the half time entertainment – which this year just happens to be Madonna. I ask you, WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE?
Speaking of the commercials, there has been a bit of buzz this year over the fact that some brands have chosen to leak their commercials on the web. I hear the Honda ad featuring Ferris Bueller is particularly clever and amusing. So the new question is, if an ad can get 400 million views on the web, do Super Bowl commercials still carry the same clout, the same stigma, the same level of greatness as when everyone had to wait and watch them together live? I fear the ease of streaming an ad on the web does take something away from the overall Super Bowl watching experience, which is why I choose to ignore the streams like I ignored Facebook the day after the Boardwalk Empire finale that I hadn’t seen yet. I just fear that “ignoring the streams” might become too hard a task to accomplish as we continue to evolve into a society of individuals staring at tablets.
Too heavy? Sorry about that. I take my football and my Super Bowl very seriously and I hate the thought of traditions not enduring. I have a very fond memory of watching my favorite commercial and I remember feeling I was watching a piece of history at the time. I was sitting in my best friend’s home in Park Slope and it was 1995, the year the 49ers played the Chargers. And it was the first time I saw three frogs sitting on three lily pads harmonizing Bud-Weis-Errrrrr. Ah, memories.
So now, raise your glasses to the Giants (or the Patriots if you have to) and in honor of the upcoming Super Bowl, tell us which of these commercials is your favorite.
Budweiser 1995 – “Bud Frogs”
Coca-Cola 1979 – “Mean Joe Greene”
McDonalds 1993 – “The Showdown – Bird vs. Jordan”
Pepsi 1992 – “Cindy Crawford”
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