Dog Thoughts on Super Bowl LV

Skip the game, take your dog for a walk!
By Jonathan Wood, February 2021, Updated April 2021

This Sunday we celebrate that uniquely American event, the Super Bowl, number 55 to be exact. It is an unmatched celebration of sport and commerce, something that people either love or loathe. As others analyze the historic passing prowess of each team, we will share some thoughts about Sunday’s events from our own colored lens … from a canine point of view. 

First, let’s examine the game’s star quarterbacks—Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. We’ve written about Bradys’ love of dogs and profiled their pack of four rescue pups. It turns out that Mahomes also has a thing for dogs, he lives with two—a Cane Corso named Steel, and a Pitbull named Silver. To the untrained eye, Mahomes’ dogs may appear ferocious but from the many photos posted to his and the dogs own social media accounts, both dogs look like loveable couch surfers. We like the fact that Mahomes and his girlfriend Brittany Matthews are unabashed in sharing an Xmas day portrait with both of them wearing matching pajamas hugging their dogs in front of their Christmas tree. Much like the head to head predictions on the field, we are calling the two QBs’ dogginess … a draw.

For those of you not interested in the football game, Animal Planet (and Discovery Plus streaming service) will once again broadcast their annual Puppy Bowl—the perfect alternative to all those big bodied ball players trying to beat each other up for four quarters. The Puppy Bowl knows what people want to see and it seems like the puppies get cuter every year. The channel rounds out its Puppy Bowl programming with a handful of NFL player profiles centered around the athletes’ commitment to animal rescue and humane advocacy. The stories are quite sincere and effective, especially with their overriding message of “Adopt, Don’t Buy.”

In addition to the game, the Super Bowl is famous for its high-priced commercial ads. Some of the most memorable ads each year often focus on dogs. Who can forget the Budweiser puppy dog ad and the stirring commercial for Canine Companions for Independence sponsored by Avocados from Mexico. But this year there is no great (or even bad) commercial debuting which contains a dog theme. Dogs appear in a few spots but only as minor characters. Perhaps the most talked about advertisement appearing on Sunday is a Public Service Announcement running during the Puppy Bowl. It features Dr. Jill Biden and the Biden’s two dogs, Major and Champ, reminding viewers to always wear face coverings, even when walking the dog. It’s a straight, to the point production and a worthy message.

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Many people will take advantage of country’s attention turned to their televisions to get outdoors and take their pooch for a hike or a game of fetch. We think that’s a super idea! Just don’t forget your mask and practice social distancing. 

Photo via Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes / Instagram