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Want to enjoy the Super Bowl Sunday celebrations, but pass on the NFL game? Then you may want to check out Puppy Bowl XVIII, which will air on Animal Planet and Discovery+ a few hours before the big game. It features adorable puppies competing for the "Lombarky" trophy in a chaotic, but insanely cute, "football" game. The best part is the "players" — selected from animal shelters around the country — all find permanent homes before the game ends.
The dogs must be between 12 and 21 weeks old to qualify for the Puppy Bowl. They also have to be well-socialized, vaccinated, and meet certain height and weight restrictions due to the scaled-down size of the football field.
The championship game rules are pretty simple. The two teams are let loose to tackle, bite, and fight for the toys and bones scattered around the small stadium. A touchdown is declared whenever a player manages to drag their toy to the end zone. Famed "Ruff-eree" Dan Schachner is responsible for flagging players for "pass inter-fur-ence," "unnecessary ruffness," or relieving themselves on the field. Timeouts are declared each time the water bowl runs dry.
Puppy Bowl 2022's roster comprises a record 118 dogs — including nine special needs pups — from 33 states! Team Fluff is being coached by rap superstar Snoop Dogg, and Team Ruff by celebrity chef Martha Stewart. The two will also act as joint hosts for the second consecutive year.
The fun will begin at 1:00 p.m. (EST) with a pregame show featuring commentary from special sports correspondents —"Rodt Weiler," "Sheena Inu," and "James Hound." At 2:00 p.m. (EST), Sesame Street's Elmo and his puppy Tango will officiate the coin toss and declare the start of Puppy Bowl XVIII.
Moby, a French bulldog with a cleft palate and an intimidating stare, will lead Team Ruff. His starting lineup includes Ridley, a vision and hearing impaired border collie, and Hoku, an American Staffordshire terrier/Catahoula leopard dog mix from Hawaii.
Team Fluff will be led by a basset hound/Shih Tzu mix named Dinozzo. The crafty puppy is known to linger around the water bowl for most of the game and score when least expected. His team will include Baxter, a spirited pug from Florida, and Benny, a poodle from Georgia who was born with just two legs.