The Ultimate Counter-Programming for Football Fans Everywhere, Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl, is finally here. And yes, we're going to do a comprehensive liveblog of it this year. Come join.
4:30 PM EST: BAWWWWWWWWWW.
4:35 PM EST: I've got good money on the dog thAWWWWWWWWWW OOOSHY OOOSHOO PUPPY.
4:40 PM EST: Ah! Wa—Wait! Look! BAWWWWWWWWWWWW.
4:50 PM EST: Look at that it's a ZAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWSOCUUUUUUTE.
5:00 PM EST: Check out this year's BUNNY CHEERLEADERS. THEY'RE JUST SITTING THERE WITH THEIR WITTWE PAWZSHHH AWWWW.
5:10 PM EST: Gabriel Delahaye profiled this year's Puppy Bowl Starting Lineup. It's worth reading.
5:13 PM EST: .........BAWWWWWWWWW.
But really, the Puppy Bowl matters. In 2008, the Puppy Bowl pulled something like eight million viewers, and got a New York Times media piece written about it. There's more to be said for it than just numbers, though.
Here's a channel devoting a few hours of programming to a bunch of dogs, running around, doing nothing but being dogs. The simplicity is brilliant. There's literally no objective, no point, nothing but people cooing at baby dogs (And cats! There's a halftime kitten show!) that they wish they could own, but can't, either because they can't afford it or someone's allergic or their life just can't fit a dog in even though they're totally dog people (AHEM) or they already have dogs who're old and smelly and no longer puppies.
It's quickly becoming some kind of post-Christmas Yule Log: here are these puppies, in your living room for a day! On a day that celebrates a sport where the abusers of dogs can found both playing and finding redemption from the American public just by putting points on the board, no less!
The genius of the Puppy Bowl is that there is absolutely nothing—nothing—to the Puppy Bowl but people projecting their total adoration of baby dogs onto their TVs. There is nothing objectionable about this. The Puppy Bowl is wonderful, and if you don't like it, you're basically a heartless, terrible, awful person. I hope you die and are reborn as a squeaking plush porcupine.