For 17 years, Animal Planet has offered what just may be the only successful counter-programming that the Super Bowl has ever had to endure with the annual Puppy Bowl. The Puppy Bowl is a glorified cute animal YouTube video meant to promote animal adoption and raise awareness of… cute animals.
Whether you don’t care about the teams in the Super Bowl or if you’re morally opposed to such a violent and dangerous sport, the Puppy Bowl is generally the best way to spend a few hours watching television on Super Bowl Sunday without having to see any actual football or check out whatever’s happening on the other networks. If you do want to watch the Super Bowl, though, here’s how to do that.
Puppy Bowl XVIII is happening on Sunday, February 13 at 2 p.m. ET. There will be a pre-game show an hour before that where—as the official website describes it—“fan-favorite PUPPY BOWL sportscasters Rodt Weiler, Sheena Inu, James Hound, and field reporters Mini Pinscher and Greta Dane provide the inside scoop on this year’s Puppy Bowl Draft ahead of the big game.” (Hopefully you like dog puns, because there are more coming.)
The Puppy Bowl will air on regular TV on Animal Planet, and it will be available to stream on Discovery+ at the same time.
Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg will be both hosting and serving as coaches for Puppy Bowl XVIII. Stewart will be working with Team Ruff, the dogs in orange, and Snoop Dogg will be working with Team Fluff, the dogs in blue. In a statement, Snoop Dogg said he’s honored to co-host “the only sporting event on the planet guaranteed to raise the ‘woof.’”
Regular Puppy Bowl “Ruff-eree” Dan Schachner will also be there to call “the puppy penalties, ruff stumbles and tumbles, and awesome touchdowns.” Steve Levy and Taylor Rooks will provide play-by-play coverage as the puppies run back and forth on the little field.
Yes, thankfully. The theme this year is apparently “purr-fect beach party,” with the official site saying that, “at this ocean-side getaway, audiences will experience the beach-tastic party with these felines having some fun in the sun and learning about their heartwarming adoption stories.” If you’d like to see humans at halftime instead, here’s what’s up with the Super Bowl Halftime show.
You can meet the players at this link, which would be silly if this weren’t all about getting these dogs adopted, but it’s still a little silly. (The kitties will also be up for adoption, if you’re in the market for a cat.) Also, if you like your feel-good animal entertainment to come with some meaningless JPEGs that have a negative impact on the environment, there are now Puppy Bowl NFTs available with “a portion of the proceeds from all the sales” going to Orange Twins Rescue, an animal rescue organization co-founded by Ariana Grande.
And if you’re looking for something to eat, Lifehacker has a round-up of Super Bowl-related deals on food. You don’t have to tell anyone you’ll actually be watching the Puppy Bowl.