An epic sporting and TV ratings event, Super Bowl Sunday clocks in at an average 114 million viewers. That's more than five times the population of Australia. Not only huge from the ratings perspective, Super Bowl Sunday is also considered one of the biggest entertainment shows with halftime entertainment drawing from the starriest celeb names in showbiz. This years line up included Coldplay, Beyoncé, and Bruno Mars, with Lady Gaga's pipes belting out the national anthem. In 2005 Animal Planet decided to tap into this with their version of Super Bowl Sunday: the Puppy Bowl.
Now in its 11th year, the Puppy Bowl has become a pop culture phenomenon with an annual viewership of around 10 million (truly). The concept is basic - animal lovers tune in to see man's best friend looking all kinds of adorable while playing around with stuffed toys, 'scoring' goals when they happen to drop a toy in the designated goal zone. The two hour televised comp is presided over by a skunk called Stanley with five big-haired silkie chickens representing the cheerleading squad, shaking their tail feathers and strutting it for their favourite players.
So far, so cute. But it gets even better. Animal Planet draws the players from rescue shelters all over the country, with this years #TeamRuff and #TeamFluff competitors coming from over 40 shelters. All 49 of the 'players' can be adopted. Now we call that a #win.