All of the Other “Bowls”
The easiest, laziest, but somehow most effective way for a network to compete with the Super Bowl is by creating a show that is literally anything in the world placed before the word “bowl.” The most popular (and obviously the cutest) is Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XI (3 PM). It is simplistic but brilliant: adorable puppies run around a mini football field and play “football” by dragging toys across goal lines. There is a camera in the water bowl, a halftime show by Katty Furry, and a plethora of terrible puns (barking lot, ruff-housing, etc.), and it is perfect. For maximum enjoyment, Animal Planet plays it all day.
Puppy Bowl has resulted in numerous knockoffs: Hallmark will air its second annual Kitten Bowl at noon. Deemed the “greatest feline showdown in history,” Kitten Bowl is just cute kittens playing, which is definitely a solid alternative to watching the Patriots. There’s also National Geographic Wild’s Fish Bowl II,which is four hours of a fish swimming in a bowl. Finally, on the human side of things, there is TLC’s Toddler Bowl, which features a bunch of children ages one to three, who compete in a “series of physical challenges and brain-boosting games” like the 4-Yard Dash and Speed Sorting.
Syfy’s “Vs.” Marathon
Syfy is getting into the competitive spirit this year with a marathon of ridiculous but entertaining movies with “vs.” in the title. Starting at 9 AM, you can catch a whole mess of old “favorites”: Chupacabra vs. The Alamo, Mega Python vs. Gatoroid, Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus, and Mega Shark Versus Mecha Shark (not sure why they skipped the abbreviation here). Then, at 5 PM, Syfy will air three new movies — don’t worry, the titles are somewhat self-explanatory: Airplane vs. Volcano, Asteroid vs. Earth, and Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies.
USA’s Law and Order: SVU Marathon
The only things certain in this world are death, taxes, and that there is always some Law and Order marathon currently airing on some channel. This Sunday, it’s USA that will air the “Benson Bowl Marathon,” featuring Olivia-heavy episodes of Law and Order: SVU from 11 AM until 10 PM, long enough to cover the Super Bowl and both its pre- and post-shows.
The Blind Side on ABC Family
Just kidding, don’t watch this.
Key and Peele on Comedy Central
You can watch a slew of hilarious Key and Peele episodes on Sunday in two batches. Comedy Central will air five (mostly football-heavy) episodes from 3:25 PM to 5:55 PM, switch over to a couple of Futurama episodes during the actual Super Bowl, and then air Key and Peele again from 8 PM to 10 PM.
Disney Channel’s High School Musical Marathon
If you’re really seeking something diametrically opposite of the Super Bowl, then your best bet is to switch over to Disney Channel to watch the three High School Musical movies. You can watch Zac Efron grow up before your own eyes! It’s basically the same as Boyhood, but it only spans three years and has a lot more singing and dancing.