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The Pantheon of Puppies: Puppy Bowl XI




Written by Laura Santoro

Amongst the 85 poochies, 21 kittens, 5 Nigerian dwarf goats, and 3 human announcers, Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XI is an action-packed, furry fiasco employing 17 cameras and 60 crew members. Drawing enough attention to compete with Sunday’s other big game, the puppy penalties, cheerleading goats and half-time kitties make this Bissell-sponsored game the top in cable ratings with 10.4 million unique viewers across its 12-hour marathon. America’s favorite counter-programmed game also exhibited digital dominance as well—reaching more than 17 million people in online streams. Though these puppies dash down yard lines, it’s often their distractions or tackle violations that offer points of interest.


It’s Team Ruff versus Team Scuff on a field with too many toys, obnoxious human announcers, and a sardonic set and music design. This 11th edition of Puppy Bowl satirizes the NBC’s Super Bowl to new heights; not only are the animals named after celebrities, but the announcers are named after dogs and the whole thing becomes painful after three hours of viewing. Puppies are cute, but announcers trying to act like them are not. In the vein of comedy, this new genre of sports landscape marks not only the power of puppy prime time in television, but demonstrates how the Puppy Bowl has become inextricably linked to the pop culture fabric of the Super Bowl. The inauguration of the Puppy Bowl over a decade ago has unleashed a new puppy populace in Super Bowl advertising. In particular, Super Bowl commercials now have a 50% higher chance of including a puppy—specifically, a golden retriever puppy—in their ads. It is interesting to note how persuasive puppies have become in the composition of multimillion dollar ad distribution deals. Moreover, it goes to say that if you’re not watching the Super Bowl, you’re watching the Puppy Bowl.



On that note, while the Patriots won by a marginal 28-24, Team Fluff won by an astounding 45-28. With Labrador Retriever Mix Bryan Adams as the star quarterback, Team Fluff won by a landslide. He made history as the second puppy ever to score by kicking a field goal. Watch his bio video below!