HALLMARK, Sunday, Feb. 1, Noon ET
Everything you need to get the most from Kitten Bowl II
By Jeff Pfieffer
Even a cursory glance at Beth Stern’s background will show you how much of an animal lover she is, so she was a natural fit to host Hallmark Channel’s inaugural “Kitten Bowl” last year. The experience was so enjoyable for her that she is back again this year when “Kitten Bowl II” airs on Super Bowl Sunday.
“I got such wonderful feedback,” Stern says of the fan response via social media last year. “As it was happening, I was getting immediate response and people were just melting over the cuteness. [Those fans] proved to be the majority, because [Hallmark Channel] renewed it for the next couple of years. I’m really excited.”
Part of Stern’s excitement comes from her, as an animal lover, just being able to be around such adorable creatures. “I literally just get to lie in the middle of the field,” she laughs, “and have kittens crawling all over me. It’s true heaven for me." But Stern gets even more excitement from the noble effort made by “Kitten Bowl” to adopt out its cuddly participants.
“The best part about it for me,” says Stern, who regularly fosters unwanted kittens (another five were coming to her house the day after we spoke) along with taking care of her six resident cats, “was knowing all the ‘players’ were going up for adoption after the taping. Last year I believe it was over 70 kittens, and this year I think there were 92 total kittens and cats participating, and I believe they’ve all been adopted. So it’s pretty cool. And when it airs, local shelters and partner shelters across the United States hold Kitten Bowl parties, so people gravitate to the parties and more cats and kittens are adopted. So I love it. It’s a cause so dear to my heart. I pinch myself when I say I’m the host of the Kitten Bowl.”
And this year, there are even some adult catsup for adoption, which Stern particularly likes. The cats are seen in a pub watching the kittens frolicking, and “coaching” them.
“That is showcasing adult cats that are in the shelters,” says Stern. “The only idea I would add for next year would be to have more of the adult cats, just so we can get more adult cats adopted. I’ve only adopted adult cats in our house, and they’re the ones that just break my heart the most.”
Also new this year is the addition of Feline Football League commissioner Boomer Esiason, the famed former NFLer and current broadcaster who Stern thinks will “bring even more attention to already a successful situation.”
Stern tells us she’s a Steelers fan (as such, it’s no surprise that she calls out Kitten Bowl player “Troy Paw-lamalu” as a particularly cute and punny kitten name), so she won’t be watching her team play on Super Bowl Sunday. But that does give her plenty of time to tune in to “Kitten Bowl II.”
“I recommend [it] to all the animal lovers out there,” she says, “and football lovers … I’m sure you’ll be loving the Kitten Bowl as much as I do.”
FUN WITH KITTEN BOWL
Hallmark's Kitten Bowl was a tremendous success last year, and the network has upped its game to help fans kick-off a purr-fect Super Sunday in 2015 with Kitten Bowl II.
Set a Reminder
First things first. You don't want to miss Kitten Bowl II, so use Find & Remind to set a reminder for the big game. If you're new to Find & Remind, click the link, create an account, search for Kitten Bowl II and then set a reminder for the show. We'll send you an email or text reminder, whichever you prefer.
Play Feline Fantasy Football
Go to the Feline Fantasy League on Facebook and choose your team. Then invite your friends to pick their fantasy team. Good luck beating ours -- we chose some real "ballers."
Check out the Kitten Cam, where you'll see the felines in their training camp lair for the big event. Actually, they're mostly game planning (resting), but they're pretty darn cute and each one of them is available for adoption.
Adopt a kitten
Beth Stern -- for those who don't know -- Beth is Howard Stern's wife, is an actress, model and spokeperson for North Shore Animal League America. Each of the kitten's in Kitten Bowl II are up for adoption (in fact, they've all been adopted already), but it's a good idea to check-in with NSALA to learn about their good work as well as their future events.
Shelters across the country are hosting Kitten Bowl parties. To join the fun, find an event near you through this link on the North Shore Animal League America site.
Join the conversation
We've heard that there's anoher game of note that will be played on Sunday, but we've been so busy following the chatter about Kitten Bowl II that "the other game" has been a bit downed out. Join the conversation at #kittenbowl. Below are two of our favorite recent posts on the Big Game -- Ellen DeGeneres' take on Kitten Bowl II, and Lisa Colangelo's (wife of businessman and sports mogul Jerry Colangelo) desire for a Kitten Bowl tee-shirt. We're with ya, Lisa, we want one too.