Super Bowl Sunday is America's unofficial holiday, and the buildup to the game is matched only by the anticipation of the commercials during the game. Here is our list of 10 of the most memorable spots in Super Bowl history.
McDonalds Showdown (1993)
The NBA was arguably at the height of its popularity when the fast food giant aired this spot during Super Bowl XXVII. The premise was simple: the game's biggest stars -- Larry Bird and Michael Jordan -- in a game of H-O-R-S-E, with a Big Mac for the winner.
Pepsi: Your Cheatin' Heart (1996)
A classically clever spot in which a Coca-Cola delivery man tries to swipe a Pepsi from an adjacent cooler. Comic touch: The inclusion of Hank Williams Jr.'s iconic country ballad. Oh, and the security camera view.
Coke: Mean Joe Greene (1980)
This spot, which actually premiered during the Major League Baseball playoffs in 1979, won a Cannes Gold Lion for advertising excellence and has consistently been voted among the best Super Bowl commercials of all time. It also changed "Mean" Joe Greene's image. "I was suddenly approachable," Greene recalled recently. "Little kids were no longer afraid of me, and older people would come up and offer me a Coke."
Budweiser: Frogs (1995)
The commercial itself was simple enough: Three frogs in a swamp each croaking a syllable of the beer company's name. But the ad in many ways defined Super Bowl advertising in the 90s and became a cultural phenomenon.
Apple: Macintosh (1984)
Many still consider this not only the best Super Bowl commercial ever, but the best commercial ever, period. Directed by Ridley Scott, the spot aired only once, during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII, and is widely credited with helping make advertising during the big game must-see TV.
Monster: When I Grow Up (1999)
Monster.com's first Super Bowl ad paid off for the jobs website in a big way. Having small children recite such hackneyed business jargon as "I want to claw my way up to middle management" resonated in a big way with many viewers.
Budweiser: Welcome Home (2003)
With the memory of 9/11 still fresh in many people's minds, and with the US less than two months away from invading Iraq, Budweiser tugged at the heartstrings of many viewers with this memorable -- and wordless -- one-minute spot during Super Bowl XXXVII.
E-Trade: Talking Baby (2012)
This was the first commercial in the financial services company's famed "Talking Baby" franchise, featuring a toddler in front of a webcam discussing the particulars of online investing and stock trading in an adult voice -- usually with a deadpan delivery.
Doritos: Man's Best Friend (2012)
Doritos has aired its share of racy Super Bowl ads, but this one used a simple comic premise -- a Great Dane covering up evidence and using Doritos to quiet the sole witness to his crime -- to score big with viewers.
Dodge: Farmer (2013)
Dodge used radio broadcaster Paul Harvey's "God Made A Farmer" speech, together with compelling still images depicting farm life, to great effect in this two-minute spot that was shared nearly two million times via social media during and following the game.
UPJ takes one, drops second
John Fees’ spring baseball season accurately mirrors that of his Pitt-Johnstown team.
Fees started slow, losing his first four decisions, but has rebounded nicely in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division.
Brewers ward off late Pirates rally bid
Kyle Lohse pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Carlos Gomez homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday night.
Lohse (3-1) improved to 11-2 in his career against the Pirates, allowing one earned run in a win against them for the second time in six days.
Drama lacking sans Tiger
If professional golf saw its future at Augusta National last weekend, the sight had to be worse than choking on a 5-foot putt.
The course was there in all its splendor.
Penguins are wary of spunky Blue Jackets
Sidney Crosby is used to the attention. It comes with the territory when you’re the best hockey player in the world.
Still, the Pittsburgh Penguins star knows the spotlight becomes more acute in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Pirates power past Brewers
Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.
Harrison’s two-run drive down the left field line off Rob Wooten (0-1) was the second of his career as a pinch hitter.
Jackets preparing for Game 2
The Columbus Blue Jackets don’t feel they’re doomed after blowing a two-goal lead in a Game 1 loss of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“It’s not about missed chances, or feeling sorry about it,” goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky said at Thursday’s optional workout, 13 hours after falling 4-3 in Pittsburgh.
- Local Sports Briefs
Jennerstown Speedway gearing for May open
Jennerstown Speedway released a very ambitious schedule on its website and continues to prepare for its 2014 reopening.
The track is set to hold a practice day for drivers as well as an open house and media day on April 26.
‘Hawks already building toward next season
Jason Spence used up his cell phone’s battery on a trip from Johnstown to his parents’ home in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Once the Johnstown Tomahawks coach got to his destination, Spence had to get creative to secure cell service across the border.
Dominant Cueto drops Pirates in matinee
That playoff loss in Pittsburgh last year? Johnny Cueto never thought about it much. So getting a chance to shut out the Pirates in a rematch wasn’t any more special.
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- UPJ takes one, drops second