Sunday, February 2nd was a chance for Americans everywhere to gather around a TV screen and cheer until their voices went hoarse, the 10th annual puppy bowl! This year’s show’s viewing numbers had some fierce competition from the Hallmark channel’s debuting Kitten Bowl and Nat Geo’s 4 hour live streaming of their star athlete, Goldie, in the Fish Bowl. Many wonder who has time to watch such seemingly pointless displays of cuteness, like English teacher Mr. Poetzinger who says: “I do like puppies, but I’m not going to take the time to put them on television scoring fake touchdown points with fake football stuff…Why can’t they do something of merit?” However, this year’s puppy bowl raked in 13.5 Million individual viewers and crushed the doubts on non-believers (in-cuteness that is). While the kitten bowl boasted numerous celebrities including Regis Philbin, Kelly Rutherford, and Carrie Ann Inaba; the puppy bowl had an appearance the first lady, Michelle Obama and her two dogs, Sunny and Bo.
The controversial fish bowl is being criticized not only for inhumane treatment of their fish, but also for copying the two other animal-featuring alternatives to the SuperBowl and even for providing no real purpose. Both the Puppy Bowl and the Kitten Bowl are adoption events hosted to raise awareness for homeless animals while the fish bowl was not. Since it’s taping last October every participant of the Kitten Bowl has been adopted into a good home. Nat Geo’s fictional spokesperson, Mr. Mann, responded to allegations of copying by stating: “It it’s a bowl that the people want, that is what we will give them” One of the reasons that the Puppy Bowl crushed it’s competitors in views is the diversity of their animal participants. The abundance of puppies themselves, with the penguin cheerleaders, kitten halftime show, guinea pig spectators, and live-tweeting bird proves the other two shows decidedly lacking in diversity. However, the seemingly ever-popular Puppy Bowl was found seemingly guilty of false advertising with their featured Keyboard Cat during the halftime show, the real keyboard cat being deceased. Many people could not keep their excitement internalized as over 300,000 tweets mentioned the Puppy Bowl last year, with numbers rising every year. SLV students seemed to have mixed feelings about the fish bowl as junior Mikaela Slade commented, “Fish are cool,” and senior Anna Maxwell said: “I hate the fish bowl. No one watches the fish bowl. It isn’t real.” Despite the varying traditions of Superbowl Sunday, the one factor that they all have in common is bringing people together into a day of fun, food, and friendship.