As football fans undoubtedly know, this weekend is Super Bowl LIV. They’re already stocking up on Doritos and Bud Light and waiting for the epic (well, maybe) showdown between NFC Champions the San Francisco 49ers and AFC Champions the Kansas City Chiefs. The non-sportingly inclined, however, may require a warning: This weekend’s airwaves will be awash with sportsball-related content. Whether you’re “ready for some football” (as Hank Williams Jr. used to scream) or hoping to avoid the big game altogether, there’s plenty of sports and sports-adjacent programming to choose from in the coming days. Looking over the list, in fact, it appears as if the real battle may be between the Chiefs and the Puppies.
Saturday starts out with a number of “tease” events, getting you worked up for Sunday’s main event. For the hardcore football lovers, there’s “NFL Honors” (KRQE-DT2 6pm). Steve Harvey hosts the annual event, tossing out awards for the best NFL players, performances and plays of the past year.
If you’re not interested in that, there’s “Puppy Bowl Presents: The Dog Bowl III” (Animal Planet 6pm). This marks the third year for AnPlan’s more mature spin-off of its popular “Puppy Bowl” event. This one spotlights older dogs up for adoption in pet shelters nationwide. Of course, if you’re a cat person instead of a dog person, you might like “Cat Bowl II” (Hallmark 9pm). It is, of course, Hallmark’s similar spin-off of its annual “Kitten Bowl,” featuring older cats up for adoption in pet shelters nationwide.
If you’re the kind of person who watches the Super Bowl just for the Halftime Show, the “Bud Light Super Bowl LIV Music Fest” (KRQE-DT2 9pm) might be the pre-show teaser for you. American Airlines Arena in Miami serves as the backdrop for this concert featuring Guns N’ Roses, Maroon 5, DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, Snoop Dogg, Dan + Shay and DaBaby. … Yeah. I know. How did DaBaby not make the actual Halftime Show cut?
Sunday kicks off, bright and early with day-long Super Bowl coverage courtesy of FOX. First on the lineup is “FOX Super Bowl Kick Off From Miami” (KRQE-DT2 11am), followed by the “FOX Super Bowl LIV Pregame Show” (KRQE-DT2 noon). Curt Menefee, Charissa Thompson, Terry Bradshaw, Michael Strahan, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson, Jay Glazer and others will be glad to talk your ear off with football statistics, analysis and good old-fashioned guesses.
If that all sounds like a lot of noise to you, you can just wait it out and fire up the Idiot Box for “Puppy Bowl XVI” (Animal Planet 1pm). It’s AnPlan’s yearly celebration of puppy cuteness. The network says it’s got 95 pups lined up for the event—including international dogs from Cartagena, St. Croix and Toronto. And that’s not even counting the popular Kitten Halftime Show! (Fun fact: The animals urinate and defecate on the show’s fake grass field as frequently as once every 20 seconds. All but one of the incidents is edited out of the show.)
Again, if you prefer felines to canines, you’re gonna wanna spend your Sunday over on Hallmark for its animal rescue special “Kitten Bowl VII” (Hallmark 3pm). Author and animal advocate Beth Stern hosts. And like the “Puppy Bowl” on AnPlan, it repeats all day long—giving you plenty of opportunity to channel hop if the game gets boring later on.
Of course, the main event of the day is “Super Bowl LIV” (KRQE-DT2 4:30pm). It features the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City is favored, but not by a lot. So who know: It could be a good game. If not, there’s always the Halftime Show to look forward to. This year, it features Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, which feels like a pretty good fit with host city Miami. Any way you slice it, it’s probably better than last year’s mashup of Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi. You can expect the music, fireworks and Latina hip-shaking to start sometime around 6pm, about 90 minutes or so after the start of the game.