February 13, 2023

After I got home from work yesterday, we finished making the last of the snacks we would nosh prior to (and during) the Super Bowl and put on the ribs for a slow bake.  Melissa already had the pregame shows airing which had started at 9 am.  By 2 pm most of the viewers are fried and know there are still over three hours before the opening kickoff.  That is when they break out the alternative big gun.  While this was Super Bowl LVII, it was also Puppy Bowl XIX.  We tuned to the game and the announcers were providing play by play as the tiny puppies chased and carried a small ball around the field that had been fashioned for them.  Zena is always entranced to see a puppy on TV and she got up close and personal.  See seemed unable to figure out why she could not get a sniff from the puppy standing just in front of her.

When I looked online, I found the Puppy Bowl is an annual television program on Animal Planet that mimics an American football game like the Super Bowl, except using puppies.  The footage shows a group of puppies playing inside a model stadium with commentary on their actions.  The first Puppy Bowl aired on February 6, 2005, at the same time as Super Bowl XXXIX.  This was presented as a novelty show for those not interested (really?) in the actual game.  The puppies featured in the Puppy Bowl are from shelters and the entire program is designed to raise awareness about adopting pets from shelters and rescuing abandoned animals.  This year’s version of puppy Bowl included dogs from one of our local shelters.  Puppy Bowl is shot inside a miniature Plexiglas “stadium” that is 19 feet (5.8 m) long by 10 feet (3.0 m) wide.  Each puppy is between 12 and 21 weeks old and there is a height and weight limit due to the size limitations of the play area.  Yesterday’s Puppy Bowl XIX was the first puppy bowl to go into overtime.  The game includes animal cheerleaders (various species in different years), and a Kitty Halftime show (chasing lasers, etc.).  Like the human game, Puppy Bowl has morphed into a three hour event, with an additional 1 hour pre-game show. 

Puppy Bowl is so popular it has been moved to an earlier timeslot, so it does not compete with the game and is also shown at other times after the human game.  Puppy Bowl is not the only contest centered around the Super Bowl.  Many are known to watch the game for the commercials.  Each year these commercials are graded by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.  Among this year’s best-ranked ads were those from Google Pixel, T-Mobile, Kia, and PopCorners.  Game commercials also featured some losers that did not win over viewers with their ads.  It cost US$7 million for a 30-second ad during Super Bowl LVII, and advertisers could spend as much as US$10 to US$15 million in total after production costs for a spot, noted Derek Rucker, a Kellogg professor and co-lead of the school’s ad review.  While a great ad can launch a brand’s image and boost sales, a terrible ad can damage the brand.  Rucker believes this year’s ads did not include any huge hits or misses.  Like the reruns of the Puppy Bowl, the ads are available on the net.

THOUGHTS:  For a while I thought the Super Bowl might mirror Puppy Bowl and go into overtime.  After Philadelphia dominated the first half Kansas City scored on every possession in the second half.  The Eagles tied the game and then it ended on a Chief’s field goal with 8 seconds to play (38 – 35).  Being a Kansas son (yes, I know they are from Missouri), I was happy for the Chief’s win but even more for an exciting game.  The game did not appear to start that way and in past years that has not always been the case.  The Gatorade bath tradition for the winning coach goes back 40 years and has been bet on for the last four.  The cameras were said to have missed this iconic moment and it was not shown on TV.  Furious viewers took to Twitter to express their anger.  I learned the bet was won by an outsider (purple).  Act for all.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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