Monday, February 03, 2014

Why the Puppy Bowl is infinitely superior to the Super Bowl.

Last year, we saw the Puppy Bowl for the first time, and yesterday we had the pleasure of watching Puppy Bowl X.

There is much to commend the Puppy Bowl, that’s for sure. So I thought I’d list the ways in which, to me, the Puppy Bowl is infinitely superior to Super Bowl.

  • When comparing the PB athletes to the NFL jocks…well, there’s really no comparison. Mandy the dachshund vs. Wes Welker? No contest.
  • None of the PB players get carted off the field, and none of them are going to suffer from long term, devastating brain injuries.
  • No tax money went into building the stadium or to pay for revved up security. (Yes, I understand that Met Life Stadium, site of this year’s SB, was paid for entirely out of private funds. But for the most part, NFL teams are especially adept at suckering cities and states into subsidizing them. And I believe that taxpayers are on the hook for a good chunk of the residual costs for the old stadium that Met Life replaced.)
  • While this year’s PB did pay brief tribute to first responder dogs, there’s a whole lot less militarism and pumped up (largely faux) patriotism associated with it. The Star Spangled Banner was a recording, a traditional instrumental version, and the puppies appeared to be paying rapt attention to it. (Admittedly, I’m writing this – in Puppy Bowl X real-time -  before the actual Super Bowl takes place. And I’m sure that Renee Fleming will do a beautiful job with the national anthem. But PB’s more humble rendition reminds viewers and participants alike that it’s about the anthem, not the performer.)
  • Maybe the men in the audience will disagree, but in my view, the Puppy Bowl’s penguin cheerleaders have it all over the overly made up, plastic fantastic, big fake smile, scantily clad, booty and boob shaking “professional” cheerleaders.
  • The announcers don’t hurt your head with pompous, sententious observations. No one pretends that what you’re watching is anything more than fun entertainment. No attempts whatsoever to extract greater meaning.
  • There are no suck-up celebrity (or ‘what a great job they’ve done with this franchise’) spottings.
  • There’s no contention or audience puzzlement over referee calls.
  • We don’t have to hear anything about the weather.
  • Chris Christie isn’t there.
  • None of athletes engage in over-the-top, testosterone/adrenaline fueled celebrations when they make a big play.
  • Females compete on an equal footing (pawing?) with males.
  • You can make a bathroom run during the ads without living in fear that you’ll actually miss the one ad that might have been worth seeing. (As an animal softy, my Super Bowl fav – when I bother to watch – is generally the Budweiser Clydesdale ad.)
  • It’s all for a good cause: finding “forever homes” for the contestants.
  • Toe to tail, the entire event takes a lot less time than Super Bowl.
  • Miss Piggy (along with Kermit, Gonzo and few other Muppets) were special guests.

The one point I’ll concede to Super Bowl is that Bruno Mars will, no doubt, put on a more entertaining half-time performance than did Keyboard Cat. (But the parody of the halftime hoopla that Puppy bowl put on was pretty darned funny.)

Give me the Puppy Bowl, any old day.

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