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. 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 (62)
  • kflores-gom
    2/05/2016 - 02:14 p.m.

    i think it is funny that they are kittens pertending to be human football players

  • meaganw.-tay
    2/08/2016 - 09:22 a.m.

    I didn't know they have a kitty bowl

  • tatumh.-tay
    2/08/2016 - 09:23 a.m.

    The kitten bowl isn't held in the summer because it has to be the same day the official super bowl is.

  • gracih.-tay
    2/08/2016 - 09:23 a.m.

    I want to see those ADOREABLE kittens play "Paw"ball!! Its probably not held in the summer because they want to do it the same time as the Super Bowl????????

  • delainnab.-tay
    2/08/2016 - 09:25 a.m.

    The reason why the Kitten Bowl is held in the summer is because the actual Super Bowl is held in the winter.

  • evakathrynj.1-tay
    2/08/2016 - 09:25 a.m.

    The Kitten Bowl is funny and super cute.

  • calebt.-tay
    2/08/2016 - 09:25 a.m.

    That's cool and probably really cute to

  • masons.-tay
    2/08/2016 - 09:26 a.m.

    The super bowl doesn't happen in the summer so theyilm it in October and release it in...well when ever they release it. The thing is that no one watches football after the super bowl unless college is still on so that is why it shouldn't be in the summer.

  • mikaylaz.-tay
    2/08/2016 - 09:27 a.m.

    The kitten bowlni not held in the summer because the video it a few months earlier than the super bowl.

  • nylej.-tay
    2/08/2016 - 09:27 a.m.

    I still don't like cats. The story was still interesting.

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