animal planet, puppy bowl

Every year, Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl gets a little more ridiculous. This year, on top of the addition of penguin cheerleaders, commentary from Lil Bub and a halftime performance from Keyboard Cat (the resurrection), they’re letting us draft our own fantasy Puppy Bowl team.

Every year since 2005, you’ve been able to watch adorable puppies chase each other around on Astroturf, concurrent with the Super Bowl. It’s pretty fool proof, really. There are lots of people who don’t like sports, but who doesn’t like a puppy?

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The Puppy Bowl takes three days of filming to make. Veterinarians and onsite animal protection authorities are on set at all times to make sure every puppy is happy and healthy and that no puppies get too excited or overheated. Puppies are penalized for “unnecessary rruff-ness” and puppies who fall asleep are substituted for other puppies, so the tired ones can get some rest. Touchdowns are scored any time a puppy brings a football toy into the end zone.

With each passing year, the Puppy Bowl gets more and more epic. More cute animals are included as cheerleaders, commentators, halftime performers and spectators and the sets grow increasingly elaborate. They’ve made a blimp, they’ve got a tweeting cockatiel reporter, they’ve got a puppy hot tub. Frankly, things are out of control over at Animal Planet, and the Internet loves it. Over 10 million viewers tuned in last year and made over 200,000 tweets about the program.

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Puppies are selected from area shelters and are available for adoption to qualified viewers. This year, fans can draft their starting lineup for a fantasy puppy team and share it on Facebook. While there are 66 pups in the game this year, the lineup only allows users to select from a handful of choices. Still, it’s totally worth it. What else are you going to do at work today?

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