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The Puppy Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday by Animal Planet

Updated on February 2, 2020
Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Rogue cat lover. I rescued 2 kittens and learn by my teeny mistakes. Fortunately, they guide me with compassion for my human limitations.

Excessively Cute Puppy Participants

This doggie could easily be chosen to play in The Puppy Bowl.
This doggie could easily be chosen to play in The Puppy Bowl. | Source

The Superbowl Puppy Bowl

The “Puppy Bowl” is an annual 2-hour television program aired on the afternoon of American professional football’s Super Bowl game. Puppies romp on a small field as comedian commentators and referees pretend their frolicking movements are football maneuvers. It is a brilliant comic farce of professional football with extremely cute puppies. Over the years, kittens and other baby animals have been added as cheerleaders and supporting cast.

A Cause Viewers Can Support: Adopting Shelter Animals

Cable television network Animal Planet created and maintains the event. It is a fun program for television viewers who do not feel the need to hear broadcasters spout statistics and predictions for 10 hours straight prior to the commencement of the actual human football match. In addition to providing entertainment for those who could care less about 300-pound men in helmets trying to seriously injure each other as they move a little leather sphere up and down a 100-yard field, the Puppy Bowl has an altruistic goal. All the puppies are orphans from animal shelters.

The Puppy Bowl seeks to increase awareness of adopting pet animals which are abandoned and homeless by using these pups.

Grrrrreat Puppy Comedy

Puppy Bowl writers and performers inject lots of silliness in reporting the puppies’ statistics, football backgrounds, and interests. It is a mixture of football puns and dog (or cat or whatever) humor. Extremely clever and family friendly comedy distinguishes this annual show. Just as with programs such as “Funniest Home Videos,” the commentary is what makes the action humorous.

The color commentator interprets puppy action such as running with a chew toy, as being a football action. Tongue-in-cheek seriousness with televised football features such as Instant Replay, reviews of plays, MVP and Hall of Fame moments. Canned crowd roaring noise and cheering noise for games or crowd laughter for Bissell Kitty Halftime show.

The television commentators and referees for the Puppy Bowl have always been top-notch talents. For Bowls number one through five, beloved professional broadcaster Harry Kalas (Philadelphia Phillies baseball and NFL films narrator) provided the commentary. Jeff Bordner provided commentary in 2010 and 2011, and was followed in this role by Scott Graham (2012-present.) The assignment of game referee has evolved from random crew member to Andrew Schecter, the producer of this epic game, in 2008. Then, in 2012 SportsNet New York and Beer Money! host-comedian Dan Schachner won the coveted role by audition. His calls are ingenious. Some of his favorite penaltiy calls are: : "Unnecessary rrrrrrruff-ness," "Unpuppylike conduct," "Illegal Use of the Paws," and "Excessive cuteness on the Field."

Super Football Parody

Although the Puppy Bowl was a winner from its first running, over the years novel features have been added to keep audience interest up. One year they had a short-haired (or was it shaved?) doggie streaker trespassing on the field, complete with a super-imposed black rectangle over its “private bits” so as not to offend the television audience.

The Bowl has added clips of other dogs at tailgate parties or as home television viewers. One time, it had a parrot as a pop star singing the National Anthem with all the hokey visual effects of showing player puppies at respectful attention within an image of a waving American flag. (I must add that the parrot’s voice perfectly matched the horrible performances that some of our American singers have delivered at sporting events.)

Then, of course, it added the Kitty Halftime Show.

How to Spark Up the Kitty Halftime Show

I am disappointed with the Kitty Halftime Show and have ideas for improving this portion of the broadcast.

First, as any cat owner can tell you, cats are not dogs. They are more independent and suspicious. Therefore, I propose that instead of grouping random cats together, use littermates who know each other and have previous fun experiences chasing each other.

Next, this halftime show has lighting which is too dark – I am guessing that it tries to mimic a laser light show, with strobe lights, spotlights, and so forth. However, we cannot see the cute features of those kittens. Why should the puppies get the best lighting?

Furthermore, there are too many props. These distract from the kittens. One year the show included a stupid curtain of tinsel-like strands in the background. Tinsel is dangerous for cats if eaten, and it did nothing to add to the entertainment.

Also, often there is not enough action – they actually included a fat, sedentary kitten which could have doubled for Star Wars character Jabba the Hut. Boring. If the producers just selected a litter of young kittens and either fed them their regular meal or gave them a teeny bit of catnip – the halftime show would be MUCH better!

Puppy Bowl XVI

The 2020 Puppy Bowl will be the 16th one. It airs Sunday Feb 2, 2014 at 3 PM ET/PT.


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