Remember last year's Super Bowl halftime show by "The Who"? Remember how awkward it was seeing aging rockers attempt to capture their youth in front of demographics more likely to equate them with the CSI franchise?

Sure, this year's show will have The Blackeyed Peas, a more age-appropriate choice, but why not go for a guaranteed piece of entertainment that will tickle your heart, as well as soothe the soul? No, I'm not talking about the 2011 Lingerie Bowl (you won't score points with that one), but the 2011 Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet.

Yes, the Puppy Bowl — a revered classic now in its seventh year pitting puppy against puppy in a battle to see who will make your appetizer-stuffed guests explode with cuteness. Orginally started as a simple space-filler, the PB now attracts a howling 8.6 million viewers — and for 2011, it's expanding.

"This year, we have chicken cheerleaders and a puppy cam, a puppy point-of-view camera,” Andrew Schechter, the Puppy Bowl's referee told

The event is also a force for good, with all 47 dogs (as well as the chickens and halftime kittens) coming from shelters all across the country.

“Animal Planet worked in conjunction with Pet Finder — we found animals from 30 shelters and rescue groups,” Schechter said. “It's a fun show, obviously, and it has a tongue-in-cheek tone, but when it comes down to it, the message is the awareness of shelter animals.”

And it seems to be working. Since 2004, 250 animals have been adopted through the game.

Check out the 2011 starting lineup for the Puppy Bowl below, and leave your Super Bowl halftime blues behind. The fun kicks off at 3 p.m. EST on Animal Planet.

Related on MNN: Conan presents the Lingerie Puppy Bowl

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Puppy Bowl 2011 to offer hard-hitting cuteness
7th consecutive Animal Planet Super Bowl halftime show is all puppies and fun wrapped around a good cause.