February 1st, 2012 at 5:00 am
The excitement is mounting. In just four days, the most highly anticipated game of the entire bowl season will finally be here—so stock up on your favorite munchies, pour yourself a cold one and gather the family around the television for Puppy Bowl VIII. Kickoff begins Sunday, February 5, at 3:00 p.m. ET on Animal Planet.
The tongue-in-cheek Superbowl “alternative” puts a bunch of puppies on a fake football field, as they attempt to score touch downs by carrying a chew-toy football across a goal line. There’s a lot of sports lingo and high-level cuteness involved. This year’s bowl will be officiated by rookie ref, actor and television host Dan Schachner, who will be responsible for such calls as unpuppylike behavior and timeouts to refill the water bowls.
Spoiler alert: the Puppy Bowl is not a live show. It’s filmed over several days and some shows have used as many as 60 puppies during filming. Don’t worry, it’s all carefully monitored by an on-set veterinarian and representatives from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
If you’re more into felines than canines, wait for the Halftime Kitten Show. The show also features piggy cheerleaders and hamsters in a blimp.
Puppy Bowl animals are supplied by a variety of animal shelters and most are up for adoption. The serious message behind all that fluffy cuteness is the importance of adopting shelter pets. Animal Planet offers a preview of the “starting lineup” for the 2012 Bowl, as well as some tips and resources for adopting a pet.
In my world, there are two kinds of people: pro football fans and college football fans; puppy people and baby people. I’m all about the Big 10, so the Super Bowl means nothing to me; and when walking down the street, I go for the baby carriage every time. Apparently, though, I’m missing out on a whole lot of adorable. Last year, more than 9 million people watched the stars of the Puppy Bowl cavorting on the astroturf, and all signs are that this year’s show will be at least as successful.
“I love the Puppy Bowl,” said my good friend and puppy fanatic. “It’s my favorite show of the year. I can’t wait.” Guess I’ll have to tune in to see for myself. Fair warning to my family, though: absolutely no more puppies in this house, no matter how cute they are. Unless, of course, they make the Michigan starting lineup. Then all bets are off.
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