Each country in the world has its own national celebration, which usually catches the attention of everyone, bringing a society's passion for its country together. Some are festivals and some others, sporting events. Regardless, these big events always powerfully attract and gather multitudes and many receive an overwhelming amount of media coverage. The Super Bowl is America's real national pastime and the effects of its latest edition on February 3rd are still resonating around the globe. Inspired by this American sports tradition, Animal Planet features, since 2005, the Puppy Bowl, a television program broadcasted once a year on the same day of the Super Bowl. The show airs on TV and features puppy games that mimic the Super Bowls' games, halftime show and varied entertainment, but in their animal version, even awarding a pooch with title of the Most Valuable Puppy. The puppies play freely inside of a miniature stadium as the referee controls the actions in the field. Meanwhile, the announcer and commentator narrate and make funny entries using football game terms and jargon. Just like the human Super Bowl, the puppy version has the already traditional show sidekicks.
The cheerleaders have been played each year by different animals, such as rabbits, hens & rosters pigs and hedgehogs.
The halftime show is reserved to the kittens that step in the field and play with toys and lights to the pleasure of cat fans. Both the dogs and cats in the show are adoptable shelter animals. It is needless to say that most of them find forever homes thanks to the event.
To maintain the Super Bowl spirit, the Puppy Bowl has its own kiss cam, four-legged celebrity attendees, and, in its latest edition, a hot tub to relax the players. Meep was also part of the team, as this very cute cockatiel was in charge of sending colored Twitter messages to outsiders. To complete this adorable combo, a crew of hamsters hangs out inside the blimp and a tailgate party also takes place, where a canine audience meets up and follows the match together on TV. Sponsored by the American Animal Hospital Association, with representatives of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the American Humane Association, and the participating shelters, the well-being of the animals involved is a priority. The show aired is a compilation of about two hours of footage recorded over the course of several days. During the latter, a veterinary doctor takes care of the animals under the eye of these representatives to ensure animal welfare standards are maintained. To catch the best images possible numerous cameras are required, some of them inside the toys, and others strategically installed in the Animal Planet Stadium. The show is a wonderful family entertainment that is gaining more viewers every year and helping shelter dogs and cats find a loving home.
During the last show's edition, 21 kittens and 63 puppies were adopted making Animal Planet's producer come up with the idea of including older dogs next year, since they are as adorable as puppies, but more difficult to get adopted. Only the actual traditional Super Bowl could overcome the buzz generated by its canine replica on Twitter, where some human celebrities helped spread the news. According to Forbes and Discovery's official stats, a record of 12.4 millions viewers tuned in the Puppy Bowl IX and watched Marta, a Schnauzer & Beagle mixed cutie, be awarded 2013's Most Valuable Puppy.
Enjoy videos featuring the Puppy Bowl's most memorable moments below.