Political Animal


February 03, 2013 8:59 AM Are you ready for the sporting event of the year?

By Kathleen Geier

I am speaking, of course, of the Puppy Bowl — the annual televised extravaganza on Animal Planet, which bills it as “the cutest sporting event of the year.”

What is it? Well, basically it’s a bunch of puppies running around a miniature football field, being adorable. That’s pretty much it, though it also features some pseudo-sports entertainment elements like color commentary, player bios, and a half-time show featuring adorable kittens.

I’m a longtime football hater (sorry, Ed Kilgore!) and a dog lover, so for me, this has become my yearly Super Bowl alternative. The Puppy Bowl is always loads of fun to watch, but what I like most about it is that it’s a pet adoption awareness program. All the animals in the show are available on Petfinder.com (though I believe all or most of the pups have been adopted by the time the show airs).

Kickoff time for the Puppy Bowl is 3 p.m. EST, though it will also be rerun continuously after that, until midnight or so. You can find out more about the Puppy Bowl via this handy guide on Forbes.com. And you can have a peek at this year’s Puppy Bowl starting lineup here.

Finally, here’s a video excerpt from a past Puppy Bowl. I wasn’t able to embed any of the most recent videos.

Kathleen Geier is a writer and public policy researcher who lives in Chicago. She blogs at Inequality Matters. Find her on Twitter: @Kathy_Gee


  • c u n d gulag on February 03, 2013 10:11 AM:

    The game is too damn long, the announcers yap on endlessly, the half-time shows usually suck, and there are too many commercials - yes, some are funny, but not enough of them are.

    Having said all of that, I'll probably watch it at home.
    I got invited to a party, but I won't go because it's in NY City, and it'll take too long to get there and back, and I can't leave my Mom alone for that long.

    I don't care for either team too much.
    But at least the 49er's owner didn't move his team from Cleveland in the middle of the night, to go to Baltimore - after THAT teams hidious weasley owner moved his team from Baltimore to Indianapolis in, quite literally, the middle of the night.

    Now, I can understand the late, non-lamented, Art Modell's move from Cleveland to Baltimore - but who but a cheap theiving skunk would move a team from Baltimore to, fer-gawdz-sake, Indianapolis?
    There's no there, there.

    So, go 'Niners!'
    Plus, I can hardly wait to see the end of Ray Lewis's playing areer.
    And after you watch him do his little "Ode to me, Me, ME!!!" dance before the game, trust me, if they win, you won't want to watch the his "Final Boogaloo To the Glory of Me, Myself, and I, On the Big Stage" dance after the game.
    "Icky" Woods had his shuffle.
    Lewis's dance is just plain icky!
    And I can hardle wait for Lewis to shuffle off into retirement.
    Good feckin' riddance.

  • J.T. on February 03, 2013 10:29 AM:

    I'm a big football fan and the Niners are my local team, so I'll be rooting pretty hard tonight.

    And when that's over, I'll be watching my Tivoed Puppy Bowl over and over.

    Best part: the bottom-of-the-water-bowl cam. And the super slow-mo replays.

  • jharp on February 03, 2013 11:25 AM:

    Long time football fan and I think you're right being a hater. It's a waste of time. A terrible deal for taxpayers.

    And quite dangerous.

  • c u n d gulag on February 03, 2013 11:54 AM:

    Yeah, building humongous colisiums for billionaires to host rival billionaires, and their millionaire minions on the teams, is an atrocious deal for taxpayers.

    At least a baseball stadium's get used over 80 times a year.

    And hockey and basketball arena's get used over 40 times.

    But football?
    10 times, unless you make the play-offs.

    Oh yeah, and my favorite - 'Well, we can also host large Rock & Roll and Hippity-hoppity concerts' - like there are any acts younger than 60 that can pack in 80,000 people.

    You expect the Rolling Stones to come around again?

    The next tour they do, will be called "The Steel Defibrillator Tour."

    And the one after that, will be "The Marble Sarcophogous Tour."

  • jack in mpls on February 03, 2013 12:19 PM:

    Here in Minneapolis our publicly financed Metrodome hosts activities several times a week, even after the Twins and Gophers moved out to their (also) publicly financed playgrounds. Because of our climate, it is heavily used by local high school and college teams. And, of course, the occasional tracter pull. Of course it has now been declared obsolete and will be replaced by another publicly financed sandbox for millionaires.

    But on the original subject, back in the day I used to go grocery shopping during the Super Bowl. The supermarket was almost deserted. Then the idea caught on -- lots of people out there aren't football fans. Not it's just as crowded as a normal day. So I will stay home watch the Puppy Bowl again.

  • schtick on February 03, 2013 12:22 PM:

    There have been many times, and I like football, that the puppy bowl has been more entertaining that the superbowl.

  • Linkmeister on February 03, 2013 1:13 PM:

    schtick, the average point differential in the previous 46 games is two touchdowns or 14.35 points. That said, 4 of the last 5 have been settled by fewer than 7 points.

  • bphouse@gmail.com on February 03, 2013 3:25 PM:

    Yanking the subject back to the Puppy Bowl, I've watched every year. Both of our dogs are rescue animals, and they nap through the Bowl every year.


  • captain dan on February 03, 2013 5:23 PM:

    I do not hate football! I enjoyed playing in high school, but I swore off professional sports after Curt Flood ruined professional sports with his nefarious lawsuit. Owners charge way too much for tickets and pay excessive salaries.

  • c u n d gulag on February 03, 2013 7:21 PM:

    captain dan,
    I'd rather see the players making the money, rather than the feckin' owners, like in the pre-Flood, pre "Catfish" Hunter day.

    How many owners do you pay to see?
    Maybe, George Steinbrenner taking on Donald Trump, when the one stooge owned the Yankees, and the other, even bigger stooge, a USFL team.