Someone has yet to explain to me the allure I’ve found in the past two years’ Puppy Bowl broadcasts on Animal Planet. I’m not a dog person in the slightest, and I never watch Animal Planet any other time of the year. (We get enough animals coming around here to eat the food we leave out that I don’t need to go to television to get my fill of animals.) There’s something about the Puppy Bowl that just keeps me watching, though, and not just because there’s nothing else on television right now besides you-know-what. Getting people to tune into the Puppy Bowl instead of the Super Bowl would be an interesting countercultural project, although I have a feeling it would attract more people who disliked teams in the game than people who wanted to make any kind of grand statement against football or the Super Bowl teams. Hey, I’ll be the first to admit that if the Bengals were in the Super Bowl, I’d be watching that instead of the puppies.
All things being equal, though, I am going to flip over to the game every once in a while just to see how things are going there. My feelings about the Patriots and the Giants aside, the fact that the Patriots might go undefeated kind of adds an historical element to tonight’s game that makes me feel obligated to catch at least parts of it. It’s just one of those things that I feel a strange compulsion to watch, like Barry Bonds breaking the home run record or something along those lines. I imagine it’s the same way for anyone with even rudimentary knowledge and interest in sports; when you know something historic may be about to happen, you feel obliged to keep track of it even if you have no personal investment in any of the players or teams. I guess it helps that in my favourite (North American) sport, the Red Wings have been the team breaking all of the records in recent years.
There’s another reason I feel obliged to catch parts of the game, which is that I’m sure that my students will be watching as well. Even with as late at night as I teach, I’m sure some of them will still want to talk about the game, especially with Tom Brady being a University of Michigan player back in the day. I try to keep up with the music and television and such my students consume just in case I can find some teachable stuff in there (you’d be surprised how much of my class I devoted to stuff from Chappelle’s Show back when I taught at UT), and although I doubt I’ll find much to teach from in the Super Bowl (especially since my students will be doing peer reviews Monday and Tuesday), maybe knowing a little about what happens in the game tonight will make me seem a little less dorky than what I normally come off as.