Last weekend was the time for the annual television event dubbed as Super Bowl Sunday – an excuse for both casual and hardcore football fans to come together, share their best party appetizers, and watch the final game of the NFL postseason.
But aside from the stories and drama that unfolds on the football field, the day offers a spectacle for all sorts of entertaining television programming.
Early on Sunday there were two other annual bowl games for those less interested in the outcome of the Eagles and the Patriots. The ever-popular Puppy Bowl aired on Animal Planet for its 14th consecutive year. The adorable competition showed Team Fluff grabbing the 52-47 victory over Team Ruff and taking home the “Lombarky” trophy.
Even more impressive is the fact that the entire two-hour program involved over 90 hours of footage and took three months to edit.
Cat lovers also got a lovable alternative to the Super Bowl, and that was the fifth annual Kitten Bowl that aired on the Hallmark Channel. And here, the Pouncey Panthers defeated the Little Longtails, 34-28, in sudden-death overtime. Both teams had kittens named after NFL players, such as Feline Manning and JJ Swatts.
In addition to all the cuteness witnessed across these two games, the charming pets played for a larger purpose, and that was to raise awareness for animal adoption. All of the puppies in the Puppy Bowl came from shelters across the country, and all of the featured kittens were rescued from areas in Houston and Florida affected by recent hurricanes.
During each of the programs several puppies and kittens were adopted, and the rest were made available for adoption.
If you’re not a sports fan whatsoever, there are still a few things to look forward to once the Super Bowl is under way each year. Beyond the chips and dip, there are the wacky and often-bizarre commercials. This year there was no shortage of high-profile appearances, from Danny DeVito assuming the role of the red M&M to Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman rap battling over Doritos and Mountain Dew.
Then, thanks to David Harbour from “Stranger Things,” we soon realized that perhaps every ad we saw was a Tide ad, as the actor helped the idea merge into other faux ads.
For anyone still tuning in who isn’t as concerned with the underdog tale being told on the football field, the pinnacle of Super Bowl Sunday awaits at the beginning of halftime. This year’s act, Justin Timberlake, brought live musicians, plenty of dancers, an enormous marching band, and an impressive medley of his hits to Minneapolis.
The nearly 14-minute performance also featured a projection of Prince, paying tribute to the city’s native music legend. During this moment the entire stadium and the surrounding city glowed purple, in true Prince fashion. Just before Timberlake finished his last song, he made his way into the crowd and instantly sparked an internet meme by singing next to a young boy and taking selfies with him, with many online comments later suggesting that the boy had no idea who the star was.
Whether you think Super Bowl Sunday should be recognized as a national holiday, or see it as part of just another weekend, it remains a day of the year filled with enthusiasm from sports fans, as well as fans of music and memorable television.