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10 Positively Adorable Facts About the Puppy Bowl

January 28, 2015

It’s one of America’s biggest sporting events and it draws millions of viewers every year. No, not the Super Bowl. Here are some interesting facts about Super Sunday’s other big game.

  • Facts about the Puppy BowlThe first Puppy Bowl aired on the Animal Planet network on February 6th, 2005, during Super Bowl XXXIX.
  • The concept was reportedly inspired by The Yule Log. This popular program, which consists of one continuous four-hour shot of a burning log, has become a cherished Christmas tradition on New York City’s WPIX, and then stations around the country. The station cancelled the show in 1989 but brought it back in 2001.
  • The Puppy Bowl doesn’t air live. Instead, it consists of a series of previously-filmed segments. The 2013 edition took two days to film and featured 63 super cute puppies (but only 10 on the field at the same time).
  • Much like football, the Puppy Bowl features penalties. Well, mock penalties, at least, and they include “paws interference” and “unnecessary ruffff-ness.” According to one estimate, the puppies love to go potty on the field, sometimes as often as every 20 seconds during the filming. Most of these accidents are edited out but, typically, the producers save one shot for a penalty dubbed “prematurely watering the lawn.”
  • “The Kitty Halftime Show” has been an annual feature since Puppy Bowl II. It consists of between 15 and 30 minutes of adorable kittens running around the field while doing stuff like playing with yarn or chasing a laser pointer.
  • In 2009, the producers added a blimp inspired by the Goodyear Blimp. It’s “piloted” by hamsters.
  • The show also features cheerleaders, and every year they’re a different animal. Several rabbits got to be the cheerleaders in 2010. They were replaced by chickens in 2011, and a “Piggy Pep Squad” in 2012. In 2014, a flock of penguins were picked to shake their pompoms.
  • It’ll be hard for the producers to top the 2014 Puppy Bowl. It featured an introduction by First Lady Michelle Obama. Viewers at home could participate via the first ever “Fantasy Puppy League.” Keyboard Cat, the inspiration for a long-running internet meme, “played” a Bruno Mars’ song during the halftime show, which included a parachuting kitten. A cat named “Katty Furry,” named for pop star Katy Perry (scheduled to perform during the Super Bowl), is slated to headline the halftime show this year.
  • All of the puppies and kittens that appear in the Puppy Bowl are from pet shelters. A veterinarian is on hand to deal with any injuries and the filming is carefully monitored by representatives from various animal protection agencies.
  • As silly as the Puppy Bowl might be, it’s hugely popular. In 2013, it brought in an average of 12.4 million viewers.
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