Before this evening's Super Bowl viewing party, I watched a different type of "sports" programming--Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl V.
As the name would imply, is the fifth year the Puppy Bowl has been broadcast. It always happens on the same day as the Super Bowl; I've heard about it in the past, but never watched it. I had no idea what to expect when I turned on the TV.
In a nutshell, the show is just a bunch of puppies at play inside "Animal Planet Stadium", a model football stadium. At the beginning of each section of the show, five different "team members" were introduced one at a time as they came into the stadium. A graphic on the screen told their name, breed, and stats. As the puppies started romping around, an announcer gave commentary on their actions, using football terminology.
The puppies had chew-toys and bones to play with (including soft footballs), but mostly they just ran around and played with each other. A touchdown was called if one of the pups happened to drag a football into the end zone. The referee called penalties if one of the players was playing too rough or doing something they weren't supposed to. Timeouts occurred if the water bowl needed to be refilled.
I really liked the "bowl cam", which was a transparent water bowl built into the stadium floor with a camera that provided shots from underneath. Some of the puppies stood in the water, some played in it, and some even drank from it.
There was even a tailgate party outside the stadium that the cameras cut away to several times. It had several dogs sitting on chairs, watching the event on TVs, and cheering (barking) for the good plays.
Just like the real Super Bowl, the Puppy Bowl had a half-time show; it featured kittens. At the end of the second quarter, the stadium was reset with a huge scratching post and toys. A group of kittens played with the balls, swatted at the feathers, and wrestled with each other. They were very cute. The grand finale of the Half-Time Show was a confetti shower that seemed to scare most of the cats.
It was interesting to note that all of the animals came from animal shelters, so in addition to providing entertainment, the Puppy Bowl did a good job of showcasing pet adoptions.