Ever since Ufford came out as anti-Cocker Spaniel in his Puppy Bowl VII coverage — Brownie Sundae was adorable by the way and he was wrong — there hasn’t been a Cocker Spaniel in the Big Game. Now, I’m not blaming Ufford and his large microphone, bully pulpit for the lack of Cocker Spaniels in Puppy Bowls VIII and now IX, but I’m not saying he helped their cause either. Cocker Spaniels have long been one of the most popular breeds in America and their underrepresentation at the Puppy Bowl is alarming.
Cockers have a long history with football. The play President Richard Nixon designed for Washington’s George Allen? It was actually the most beloved member of the White House, Checkers, who came up with the end-around. (If Spaniels know anything, it’s ends.) Lady from LADY AND THE TRAMP was a varsity cheerleader at UPaws. Al Bundy from “Married With Children” credited family dog Lucky Bundy for his record setting four touchdowns against Andrew Johnson High. Sophie and Soloman, Oprah’s Cocker Spaniels, are huge Bears fans. My own darling Cocker Spaniel, pictured above dreaming of playing in Puppy Bowl X, reacts positively when you mention Matt Cassel, the sort of football instincts we should be looking for in a dog. They are used to celebrity, as this beautiful Cocker Spaniel demonstrates as she holds her own against legendary siren Marilyn Monroe.
By overlooking one of the country’s favorite breed of dogs, Animal Planet is also ignoring there are plenty of Cocker Spaniels that need homes, victims of overbreeding and puppy mills. So just because you don’t see a cute Spaniel on the screen doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider bringing one into your home.
Although I’m not sure how Cocker Spaniels — or any of the Puppy Bowl puppies — would do when faced with a hedgehog cheerleaders. My guess is that they would match Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls in the Marvin Harrison department.