Ready for a ruff game! The most anticipated sporting event of the year is going down on February 4, and, no, it’s not the Super Bowl. Animal Planet’s 14th annual Puppy Bowl kicks off on Sunday, February 4, bringing together the most furr-ocious puppies for a fierce competition.
Us Weekly caught up with Puppy Bowl “rufferee” Dan Schachner, who brought along two adorable pups from Social Tees Animal Rescue, and told Us everything we need to know about the big game. Watch the video above!
All Puppies Are Welcome
This year’s Puppy Bowl will feature more puppies than ever – 90 players – from 48 different shelters and rescues.
“We have a dog from Mexico, we have special needs dogs, we have older dogs as part of a Dog Bowl, which is a separate senior bowl that we have,” Schachner told Us. “It’s really grown into a great competition.”
Unlike the Super Bowl, this football game isn’t a live event. Schachner explained that it takes a couple of days to film the two-hour show since the puppies “don’t really know how to hold a football.”
These puppies aren’t spending weeks in training camp for the big event. In fact, when it comes time to hit the turf, Schachner wants them to be as unprepared as possible. He told Us, “We want it to be random and unpredictable; it makes it fun.”
Team Ruff vs. Team Fluff
2015’s Puppy Bowl introduced team-based competition, and since then, Schachner says Team Fluff “has been suffering,” but it seems they may pull an upset against their arch rivals, Team Ruff, in 2018.
Most Valuable Puppy
While there are a lot of stars hitting the field this year, Schachner said to be on the lookout for Mango, Jennifer ‘J-Paw’ Pawrence and Kelly Barkson, who “did great.”
To see these puppies in action, watch the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet on Sunday, February 4, at 3 p.m. ET.