Joey Johnson Journal Staff
The Puppy Bowl, an Animal Planet tradition since 2005, was brought back for its ninth iteration this past Sunday, airing just before the 2013 Super Bowl.
The two-hour long program included 63 puppies, playing and interacting in a mock football stadium while a human referee kept watch and would occasionally call “penalties” on the puppies, such as “unnecessary ‘ruffness’,” and “excessive cuteness.” The format of the show is very open, and allows for tune-in-tune-out viewing, which may contribute to the show’s rising popularity.
While the formula is mostly the same, there are a few minor changes. Brought back for this airing were fan-favorites such as the kitty half-time show, the fake blimp that is operated by hamsters, and Meep the cockatiel, who live tweets during the show. But a few additions include the “Cute Cam,” which was a high speed camera that could show the viewer certain moments in slow motion, and commentary from some of Animal Planet’s show hosts. One substitution that was made was changing the piglet cheerleaders into hedgehog cheerleaders.
The show has gained massive adoration since its initial viewing, with people tuning-in numbering in the millions. All of the puppies are adoptable, and help raise awareness to adopting pets.
Every year a puppy is named MVP, or Most Valuable Puppy. This year’s MVP was a schnauzer-beagle mix named Marta. The pup had her size tested by other much larger dogs, but stood her ground no matter what. She was fierce, relentless, and most importantly, adorable.