Sunday, February 06, 2011

Super Bowl Schmooper Bowl... Bring on the Puppy Bowl

What is more American than apple pie or apple pie and ice cream, or sliced white bread? How about football? I am proud to say I am one of the few who can not stand the sport. I barely understand it and could careless about grown men pushing and shoving each other around all over a ball! to me it just sounds pathetic and barbaric. Regardless of my feelings towards it, I must say I do love watching the Super Bowl every year. Well, not exactly. I only tune in to watch the commercials! This year commercials cost over $10,000 a second to air. Sure hope people will be buying these products being pitched! But what's my all\-time favorite thing about Super Bowl Sunday? The Puppy Bowl of course! That's right I said the Puppy Bowl!

It's probably my favorite time of year, besides Christmas and the first Winter snowfall! If you ask me it's just the cutest show on TV! The Puppy Bowl is an annual television program on Animal Planet that mimics the Super Bowl, using puppies. Shown the same afternoon of the Super Bowl (just hours before pre-game), the show consists of footage of a batch of puppies at play inside a model stadium, with commentary on their actions. The first Puppy Bowl was shown on February 6, 2005. The puppies featured in the Puppy Bowl are from shelters, and the show contains information on how viewers can adopt rescued puppies and help their local shelter. Puppy Bowl is filmed inside a miniature "stadium" that is 19 feet (5.8 m) long by 10 feet (3.0 m) wide. The show focuses on young puppies, and there is a height and weight limit due to the size limitations of the play area. The various cameras used to tape the show generate about 50 hours of footage. Roughly 30 staff are needed to produce the show.

A veterinarian is on site during the production of Puppy Bowl to ensure animal safety and well-being, and to administer any veterinary medical care which might be needed. Representatives from American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, as well as the shelters which lend their animals to the production, are also on site as observers to ensure animal welfare standards are maintained. Puppies are given a rest period every 30 minutes, due to the heat from the lights. According to its associate producer, the 2011 production occurred in the New York City area in the fall of 2010 spread over 3 days taking about 12 hours each day, using 47 puppies. The annual Animal Planet event is about more than capitalizing on football's biggest Sunday. "It's really a call to action," Executive Producer Melinda Toporoff told CNN. "We want to raise awareness for shelters everywhere and get more puppies adopted." The Puppy Bowl seems to be doing its part for more than just the network. Since 2004, 250 animals have been adopted through the game!

The adorable little pups aren't the only stars. This year they had chicken cheerleaders, puppy tailgaters, hamster pilots in the blimp above, puppy cams, and even an adorable Kitty Half-Time Show. But perhaps the most amazing part of the Puppy Bowl is its viewership. It started 7 years ago as a space-filler and now it gets viewed by 8.6 million people, something no one expected, reports CNN.

Check out the video below for a few highlights of Puppy Bowl VII (this year's game), or check out the game for yourself when it re-airs over the course of the next week on Animal Planet!