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Nov. 09, 2015
Nov. 09, 2015

Table of Contents
Nov. 9, 2015

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  • FOR THREE DECADES THE ROYALS WANDERED IN THE BASEBALL DESERT, LOSING MORE GAMES THAN ANY OTHER CLUB. THE DROUGHT IS OVER, THE RESULT OF A NEW MODEL FOR HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED, THOUGH ONE THAT IS NOT EASILY REPLICATED

MEN'S
THE SECOND TIER: Players of the Year
FRED VANVLEET
POINT AFTER
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Commercial Appeal

WHERE'S THE BEEF? Office linebacker? Cindy Crawford? As part of our countdown to Super Bowl 50, SI.com is rolling out a series—Untold Super Bowl Stories—of the overlooked, forgotten or just plain strange history of football's biggest game. The stories debut Nov. 4 with new pieces available every Wednesday at SI.com/SuperBowlStories, including a behind-the-scenes look at the Bud Bowl ads and their unexpected impact. Here is SI's countdown of the most influential commercials in Super Bowl history.

This is an article from the Nov. 9, 2015 issue

When I Grow Up 1999

Monster.com's sequence of kids saying "I want to claw my way up to middle management" and other precocious commentary on corporate culture provided a counterpoint to the onslaught of commercials featuring juvenile humor.

Bud Bowl I 1989

The stop-animation showdown between long-neck bottles of Bud and Bud Light over five spots peppered throughout the game showed that a brand could dominate the broadcast with a series of related ads that couldn't air on any other occasion.

The Force 2011

A kid dressed as Darth Vader uses the force to start his family's VW. It's cute, funny and typical Super Bowl stuff, but the ad touched a cross-generational nerve that made it go viral—it remains the most shared SB spot—and highlighted the value of secondary viewing. It was a happy marriage of execution and timing.

Hey Kid, Catch 1979

When Mean Joe Greene, the rugged, appropriately nicknamed defensive tackle, tossed his jersey to a little scamp who'd gifted the Steelers' star a bottle of Coke, it launched a generation of heart-tugging spots intended to make football fans sniffle—and their husbands, too.

1984 1984

Apple's revolutionary ad featuring a sledgehammer-wielding woman smashing the projected image of an autocrat proselytizing to a roomful of drones presaged the tech movement, as viewers forced to read Orwell in high school nodded knowingly.

THEY SAID IT

"I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL ELSE TO DO."

Dana Holgorsen

West Virginia coach explaining why he high-fived Trevone Boykin after the TCU quarterback went on an ankle-breaking scramble during the Horned Frogs' 40--10 victory in Fort Worth last Saturday.

SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE

Free-agent 320-pound quarterback Jared Lorenzen offered his services to the Jets via Twitter, posting "U know you want to."

FOUR PHOTOSYOUTUBE.COM (MONSTER.COM, BUD BOWL, THE FORCE, 1984)PHOTOCOURTESY OF COCA-COLA (HEY KID)PHOTOAUSTIN MCAFEE/CAL SPORT MEDIA/AP (HOLGORSEN)PHOTOFRANK VICTORES/USA TODAY SPORTS/GANNETT (LORENZEN)