There’s a big sporting event on television this coming weekend. Stock up on football food, throw an extra log on the fire, sit back and relax. The big game is almost here. Yes, it’s time for the first-ever “Kitten Bowl.”
The North Shore Animal League America and the Hallmark Channel joined forces for an event of adorable cuteness. Hosted by animal activist and TV personality Beth Stern, the Kitten Bowl will pit over 70 kittens on four teams against one another until one team emerges victorious. John Sterling, the famed radio voice of the New York Yankees, will emcee.
While the Kitten Bowl is a light spirited bit of fun, behind the scenes this event is serving a serious purpose. NSALA became involved so it could find every homeless kitten in the game a loving forever home. That’s right — the folks backing the Kitten Bowl promised they’d find adoptive families for 71 abandoned kittens.
An Epic Feline Battle of Fluffiness and Athletic Prowess (Kind Of)
Four teams compete in this one of a kind three-hour event, which was videotaped several weeks ago in Manhattan. The orange kittens are the North Shore Bengals, the tabbies are the Last Hope Lions, the black kittens are the Home & Family Felines and the gray kittens are the Cedar Cove Cougars.
Catch a bit of the behind the scenes action in this video:
Do you want an inside look at a few of the individual competitors? Of course you do. Each of the kittens has a mini-biography all his or her own. Some of the more “famous” kitty players will include:
- Tabby Romo – His position is “paw tripper,” and he’s considered a “cautious” player. Watch him decimate the competition.
- Bret Furve – A “purrback,” he enjoys rainbows, lollipops and roaches. He’s ready for action.
- Ferrell Owens – A star receiver whose demeanor is described as “jittery.” He’ll put that energy to good use.
- Meowshawn Lynch – His position is “fallcat,” and his demeanor is “tough.” Bet on it, baby.
- Tim Teepaw – He’s a “bemused” wingcat whose favorite song is “Cat’s in the Cradle.” How could it be anything else?
Human celebrity guests joining Beth Stern during the game include Regis Philbin, Hoda Kotb, Rachael Ray, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Carrie Ann Inaba and many more.
Beth Stern is the official spokesperson for NSALA. She and her husband, radio personality Howard Stern, have fostered more than 50 cats and kittens during the past year or so. That combination made hosting the Kitten Bowl a perfect fit for Beth. She says she had a great time.
“At one point there was one [kitten] on the ceiling and you pull them off like Velcro and put them down on the field,” Beth told Newsday. “And some of them in the middle of the field, they take little catnaps. Really adorable, that’s all I can say. It’s just the cutest thing I’ve ever been a part of.”
The Kitten Bowl Delivers On Its Promise
The Kitten Bowl hasn’t even aired yet but remarkably, its primary mission for 2014 is already complete.
“I had the time of my life frolicking on a field with 71 kittens,” Beth told Newsday. “And after the taping we held an adoption event at North Shore Animal League and all 71 kittens have since been adopted.”
This success doesn’t mean NSALA is slowing down its efforts. Countless more kittens and cats arrive at the Long Island shelter all the time. The people behind the Kitten Bowl are hoping that seeing so much sweet kitty action on television this Super Bowl Sunday will touch the hearts of families around the country who might then decide to bring a shelter pet home to stay.
Who knows, maybe next year there will be hundreds of kittens watching the Kitten Bowl from their newly found forever homes. That would be the ultimate victory.
Photo Credit (all photos): Crown Media, Inc./Photographer: Marc Lemoine