Puppy Bowl: Extremely good pups gonna play some football

Team Ruff Vs Team Fluff battle it out at the Puppy Bowl cause cute never quits.

 

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The Puppy Bowl, the puppy Super Bowl,  stars adoptable pets from 34 organizations in 22 states.

Puppies are divided into two teams.  Team Ruff sport a green bandana; Team Fluff a yellow. Points scored through Touchdowns and Field Goals are tallied up depending on which team’s bandanna the puppies who score are assigned to.   A hamster (called Surge) powers the Puppy Bowl scoreboard from his wheel.  At the end of each Puppy Bowl, the team with the most points is the winner.

 

Truly Offensive

Penalties are awarded for faults like  “pancaking” (jumping on and flattening other puppies) and illegal napping.  In 2005 the game’s very first Unsportsmanlike Delay of Game penalty was issued to a pup named Riley for, in the announcer’s words, deciding to “use the field as his own personal bathroom.”

Ruff-eree Schachner said that teams Fluff and Ruff will be subject to some extra fouls this year.

“This year we’ve got illegal use of the tail, which we’re bringing back. And truly offensive pass interference, and of course we’re referring to odor, not to offense,” he said.

 

Tail-gating

Tail-gating starts at an hour before kick-off with the Puppy Bowl pre-game, featuring aww-nalysis and cuddly commentary from sports correspondents including the infamous Rodt Weiler.

At 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT on February 5, Puppy Bowl XIII kicks off at GEICO Stadium with a special appearance by the furriest weather forecaster in the world – Mr. Punxsutawney Phil. The famous groundhog and two of his inner circle officiate the coin toss to start the game.

 

Kitty Half time Show

At the 1 hour, 15 minute mark, the puppies leave the field for a cat-nap and a large scratching post is brought for the Kitty Half-Time Show. This features kittens playing for 30 minutes with toys including lights, laser pens, balls of yarn, a scratching post and flint sweepers.

In 2010, the Puppy Bowl added a bit of ra-ra-ra to the production when it included a team of bunny cheerleaders. In 2011, chickens were the animals cheering on the sidelines. In 2012, the chicks were replaced by a Piggy Pep Squad, followed by a team of hedgehogs in 2013, a group of peppy penguins direct from the Columbus Zoo in 2014, and five Nigerian dwarf goats in 2015. For 2016, Animal Planet has enlisted “five big-haired silkie chickens.”

This year, rescue mascots are added to the cheering section. Team Ruff gains the watchful eye of Orlando the Screech Owl and Team Fluff recruits Muffin the Chinchilla who adds another layer of fluff. Getting the fans excited on the sidelines are rescue rabbits and guinea pig cheerleaders who hop into action.

Extra Special Doggies

This year, the Bowl also features three special-needs players.

Winston has vision and hearing impairments, “but has a sixth sense for the end zone.”

 

Lucky has got three legs and a killer game face

 

Doobert, completely deaf, expected to “to hit the field hard, take a nap right in the middle, and perhaps get tumbled over a few times”

 

This year’s Puppy Bowl is being formatted for VR headsets. Using the Discovery VR iOS and Android apps, Samsung Milk VR, or on Animal Planet’s YouTube page, dog lovers can get a unique view on all the action.  This may be why Virtual Reality was created.

 

Check out more of the starting lineup on Animal Planet.

Siobhan O’Shea is a freelance writer. She writes about pretty much everything but especially likes to bring readers’ attention to new tech, marketing, human behavior, and other oddities.