For those who suffer from football apathy (like me), you’re probably left with a sense of mild disappointment on Super Bowl Sunday. There’s so much hype and excitement in the air and you’re just sitting there with a bowl of queso in your lap waiting for the funny commercials. But did you know there are other “Bowl”-related viewing options? Every year, I find myself flipping to Animal Planet simply for the sheer joy it brings me to watch adorable puppies chasing each other around a mini-stadium. It’s the Puppy Bowl! If you saw the new Budweiser commercial and your heart melted, this is like that and then some. As the internet collectively gushes both before and after the game, the players become viral stars. Below are some fun facts about the Puppy Bowl and this year’s new addition, the Kitten Bowl, so that you may plan accordingly when the big game rolls around again next year. —Danielle Tepper
Animal Planet www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/puppy-bowl Years running: 10 What is it? Puppies chase each other around a small stadium with a human ref standing watch and breaking up toy fights. There are sometimes hedgehog cheerleaders. Reps from the ASPCA and AHA are on hand to make sure the puppies (who all come from shelters) don’t injure each other.
Hallmark www.hallmarkchannel.com/kittenbowl Years running: 1 What is it? Little kitties tackle “basic obstacle courses of hurdles, tunnels, hoops, jumps, weave poles, lasers, lures and toys on strings.” Plus, thanks to Hallmark’s partnership with North Shore Animal League America, each player is guaranteed a forever home afterward.