Move over Punxsutawney Phil, television is going to the dogs as the puppies are taking over on February 2nd. One of the non-football highlights of the Super Bowl, the Puppy Bowl makes its return for its tenth year. Animal Planet’s popular alternative Bowl offers something for every animal lover. Not to mention 66 adorable puppies. Just as the Super Bowl is one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year for sports fan, the Puppy Bowl is one of, if not the most anticipated animal sporting events of the year.
Can you actually call the Puppy Bowl a sporting event? You sure can if you are Animal Planet, the creator of the puppies big game. The Puppy Bowl is designed to bring the non traditional audience to the Super Bowl. And it appears it is working. Much like the Super Bowl itself, the Puppy Bowl is big business. Ad revenue for the pups’ big game is up 30 percent over last year. This is not just backyard shenanigans for the lovable four-legged creatures. They too have their own stadium, the Geico Puppy Bowl Stadium. The venue is set up to replicate a football stadium, only puppy size. Measuring 19 by 10 feet, the arena leaves plenty of room for romping.
The starting line up consists of 36 hot to trot hounds who range in age from 12 to 18 months. These barking beauties may not have homes before the game, but the hopes are they will after. The 66 pups on hand for the big game come from 37 shelters and adoption agencies.
In keeping with Super Bowl style, the Puppy Bowl promises not only to be a simple frolicking puppy event, but a production in itself. With an official game time of two hours, the Puppy Bowl airs several times during their human counterparts game. This leaves room for a little bit of everything. Not only is the Puppy Bowl one of the highlights of the Super Bowl, their half time show mimics another highlight of the game. This year Keyboard Kat will be performing a Bruno Mars inspired half time spectacular. Even America’s famous “first” pups get in on the action. First Lady, Michelle Obama, and her two Portuguese Water dogs, Sunny and Bo, helped to prepare some of the pups on the White House lawn. The first canines have developed quite a following in the last year, and even made a guest appearance on the Ellen show, wishing the star a happy birthday.
This is not just a spectacular for the dogs, but an animal lovers delight. The event is set to begin with a parachuting kitty. Three Guinea Pigs will be on hand monitoring the big game from a blimp. And of course there will be cheerleaders. This years choice, Penguins, and no doubt the Penguin squad is sure to impress.
One hundred hours of footage was captured by 21 cameras spread throughout Geico Puppy Bowl Stadium. There is even a camera under the glass floor to capture all the water spilling drool flying action. Again in keeping with the humans, one of the dogs will get an MVP. Touchdowns alone don’t make an MVP though. The potential top pup must also be mannered and play well with others. With all the squeaky toys and balls galore, this years puppy play is sure to be one of the highlights of Super Bowl XLVIII.
By Shannon Malone