Cats to compete in Kitten Bowl Kittens are photographed on the set during a taping of Kitten Bowl III in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
Cats to compete in Kitten Bowl
Lexile

On the field, the four-legged fur balls of the Hallmark Channel's Kitten Bowl III were all business.
 
But off? Well, let's just say there were some impurr-prieties dogging these feline paw-thletes.
 
"Sometimes we get into an issue or two. They tend to like to really delve into the catnip and that type of thing sometimes gets a little out of control," quipped Boomer Esiason, the Feline Football League commissioner for the Super Bowl Sunday event on Feb. 7.
 
It was Esiason's second turn as commissioner and he kept his tongue firmly in cheek in fending off any appearance of influence peddling this time around with the fielding of his own team of kittens, the Boomer Bobcats.
 
"I'm not like that. I'm above all of that, and my quarterback Ben Roethlis-purrger -- we like to call him Big Ben - is just so cute and cuddly. I'm telling you he's going to knock everybody's socks off this year."
 
Big Ben's human doppelganger is Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.
 
In addition to Esiason, Hallmark got some help from host Beth Stern and the North Shore Animal League America, which supplied nearly 100 rescue kittens to fill up Hallmark's bite-size football field. It was decked out with scratchy goalposts and plenty of cat toys to keep the action moving when the event was taped in October.
 
All of the tiny footballers were later adopted. A few were taken home for fostering by Stern herself. Her husband, radio personality Howard Stern, is the official cat namer of their family that includes six resident felines and a steady stream of fosters.
 
Beth Stern, a spokeswoman for North Shore Animal League, is the master of the cat-human selfie on Instagram. Her secret?
 
"With the selfie I have to look good, of course, so I always have to put the iPhone up high. But I can never get a bad angle of the kittens," she said.
 
Human wranglers ringed the elevated Kitten Bowl set, sending little slackers trying to escape back on the field. Hydration came in metal water bowls on the sidelines, along with a couple of handy litter boxes.
 
Esiason, an NFL most valuable player and four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, was happy to help out worthy kittens, but back home it's all about the dogs. He has two, to be exact. He used to have a cat, a Himalayan with bright blue eyes called Frankie, named for his college roommate.
 
He said he's got nothing but love for the adorable, feisty participants in the Kitten Bowl.
 
"The kitten players," Esiason offered, "are so much easier to deal with than human players."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why isn't the Kitten Bowl held in the summer?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (8)
  • briannec-ste
    2/05/2016 - 07:26 p.m.

    I don't understand why they seem to think that they need a kitten Superbowl now. I mean, i love cats but putting them in a Superbowl is just cruel. It is only for peoples enjoyment that they do that.

    • jacksonb-kut
      2/23/2016 - 10:49 a.m.

      Sir, do you think this is the actual stadium? If not, sorry. But either way, the cats get adopted after, and they get to play and have fun during the game. So, yeah :P

  • TehyaWhite-Ste
    2/09/2016 - 01:12 p.m.

    I think it's about time there is something like this because we always preach diversity so that should apply with animals as well. If there is a puppy bowl, it only makes sense that there is also a kitten bowl.

  • aidanc2-sch
    3/02/2016 - 12:30 p.m.

    EC:The Kitten Bowl is awesome because they have fun and play and then get adopted.And,also I love CATS!!!!!!!!!And I have a cat of my own so I like the Kitten Bowl because it reminds me of when he was a young Kitten.

  • TaylorSeifert-Ste
    3/06/2016 - 08:43 p.m.

    This is pretty cool, especially for all the cat lovers out there. It's great to hear that all the kittens were then adopted. I'm all for the Kitten Bowl since it supports and promotes the adoption of animals.

  • rhondrag2-pay
    3/28/2016 - 08:10 a.m.

    Kittens, four-legged fur balls that are cute and cuddly. During every super bowl, an alternative super bowl is created for puppies and kittens. The Kitten Bowl features many kittens running around pouncing, and hitting balls into a football like goal. On the sidelines, bowls are placed for the feline paw-athletes, just in case they become dehydrated. During every kitten bowl the cats are advertised for adoption to find them good loving homes to live.

  • mr.cool-
    4/07/2016 - 11:25 a.m.

    It is because it is traditionally always before the Superbowl and that takes place in February. It helps them find a home. I think that it is a good because a lot of people can see the kitten or cats on TV.

  • isaacp-eag
    5/19/2016 - 10:08 a.m.

    I love cats! I think that the kitten Superbowl is a great way to get people to adopt cats/kittens. My answer to the critical thinking question is: The summer is HOT so I think those kittens would get hot. Also the real Superbowl is not held in the summer which is why they should hold the kitten Superbowl at that time. Also it's a good way for the kittens to have fun.

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