The Big American Football Game touches down this Sunday, February 2, and that means that pretty much the entire world, all 7.14 billion and one of us, will be glued to our television sets on what has become an intergalactic holiday that's synonymous with sitting on couches, getting drunk, and packing Guy Fieri Flavortown Jalapeño Chipotle Sweet & Sour Wasabi Chicken Wings into our arteries. But guess what? Not every person watching television that day will be tuned into the Super Bowl. Super Bowl Sunday has become an opportunity for networks that don't carry the game to get creative, and so far it's paid off.
Animal Planet enjoys its highest-rated day of the year on Super Bowl Sunday thanks to the Puppy Bowl, an experiment that started in 2005 and has grown in scope each successive year. It's a bunch of baby dogs running around a fake football field and it's absolutely genius. This year will see the addition of two new bowls full of animals: Hallmark Channel will air its inaugural Kitten Bowl (exactly what it sounds like), and National Geographic is airing the Fish Bowl, which will be four hours of a single goldfish swimming around in an old boot J/K a fish bowl.
We here at TV.com applaud this type of creative initiative by lower-tier cable networks, but what about their bigger peers? Are they too "serious" to have a little fun on Super Bowl Sunday? Why don't they pull the stick from their butts and have animal bowls, too? Probably because they just don't have the artistic know-how to match the right idea to fit their brand. Well, networks, let me introduce you to me. I just took three-and-a-half doses of peyote and came up with the following trillion-dollar ideas so you can host your own Animal Bowl. Thank me later, with money, preferably.
THE DINOSAUR BOWL
Look, most-watched network or not, it's no secret that CBS has struggled to attract the younger crowd. Last year, the median age of a CBS viewer was 58.2 years old, the oldest among the big four broadcast networks and four years above the average. So instead of trotting out a bunch of 15-year-old dogs for the Elder Dog Bowl, why not go with the oldest of old and film a pile of dinosaur bones instead? A T-Rex, a triceratops, an ankylosaurus, it doesn't matter. Just make sure they're bones and they're dusty. Maybe Mark Harmon can wear a dino skeleton as a suit for halftime or something. Alternate idea: live cam of the typical Blue Bloods viewer... if they are any who are still alive.
THE PRAYING MANTIS BOWL
Scandal! Revenge! Once Upon a Time in Wonderland! The Bachelor! Mistresses! Desperate Housewives! Grey's Anatomy! And a whole bunch of other shows with no-nonsense, ass-kicking, strong female leads geared toward female audiences! "ABC" might as well stand for "All 'Bout Chicks," and the network has made a living focusing on the female demographic by focusing its shows on women in power. Naturally, ABC's spirit animal would be the mighty praying mantis, an insect known for f*cking its mates while biting their heads off and then eating them. So go ahead, ABC, show us a huge nest of praying mantises eating each other, add a Black Widow halftime show, and watch the advertising dollars roll in. It's Shonda Rhimes approved! You are welcome!
THE LEMMING BOWL
NBC has rightfully earned its current reputation as the most inept major network there is, thanks to a string of high-profile failures and boneheaded decisions over the last few years. No other network shoots itself in the face more often than NBC, so the Peacock's Super Bowl Sunday animal bowl requires a creature that exhibits the same self-destructive behavior as the network it represents. Enter the wily lemming, the natural world's suicidal rodent. Lemmings are widely known by people who are gullible to jump off of cliffs to their deaths and drown during the migratory season, much like NBC greenlighting Sean Saves the World or Welcome to the Family. So go ahead, NBC! Point those cameras toward these furry fellas and wait for the ratings (and lemming corpses) to pile up!
THE FOX BOWL
Thank god Fox has the Super Bowl this year so I don't have to suggest an animal bowl for it, but I guess the obvious answer is a Fox Bowl? That's not very funny at all. Oh! I got it, thanks to Dads, how about an Asian Stereotype Bowl? Ugh, that's not that funny either. Let's just move on.
THE HOT "TEENS" BOWL
We get it, The CW. Your business plan is sponsored by American Apparel. The hotter and younger-looking, the better. Just last week, the network's many youth-focused series showcased 72 percent of the world's total of taut, sculpted abs, and rumor has it that 13 girls were impregnated simply by watching Stephen Amell do a push-up on Arrow. Since these hot heartthrobs are nothing but meat to you, why stop there? Why not put a bunch of sexy 20-somethings dressed as shirtless high-schoolers on a field of grass and just let them be hot? Give 'em a football if it makes you feel better. Ten yard penalty for brooding!
THE SLOTH BOWL
We love you, AMC. But between Mad Men, long stretches of The Walking Dead, and whatever other anti-hero dramas you've got in your repertoire, your programming tends to be a little on the slow side. Why not speed up the action with four straight hours of three-toed sloths inching across the screen? And then watch the critics go on and on about how it's a really complex and subtle character study.
THE BUNNY BOWL
This one is up for grabs between you two, Starz and Cinemax. Since both sex-obsessed networks can't go five minutes without showing a pair of boobies or grinding rumps, only the horniest of animals makes sense: WABBITS! Let these little fluffy f*ckers hump their way into the ratings record books. And sure, make up some dumb story about them being actual characters to pass the time while the bunnies catch their breath. Sheriff Lucas Hood can be the ref.
Enough of me doing all the work, what animal/network pairings would YOU suggest for alternative Super Bowl-adjacent entertainment?