Mutt! Mutt! Hike!
Can’t wait until Super Bowl 2020 to get your football fix? Earlier on Sunday, tune in to the 16th-annual Puppy Bowl, that ruff-and-fumble competition where rescue pups from Team Ruff and Team Fluff vie for gridiron gold at Geico Stadium.
Puppy Bowl XVI will feature a record 96 puppies from 61 shelters, including international furry footballers hailing from Colombia, the US Virgin Islands, Canada and more. Best of all? They’re all adoptable!
This year, five special-needs dogs will be taking the field as well, including a three-legged Labrador retriever mix named Ferris; a hearing-impaired Great Dane named Kismet; and Rooster, an American Staffordshire terrier-bulldog hybrid who has a cleft palate.
Puppy Bowl players will be cheered from the sidelines by pompom-toting pygmy goats and armadillos. “Blue Bloods” star Dan Schachner will be donning referee stripes for the ninth year running, and this year’s “Pup Close and Personal” special will spotlight comedian and dog rescuer Whitney Cummings.
If that wasn’t enough, the halftime show will be performed by resident cat divas Jenni-Purr Lopez and Cat-ira, the feline versions of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, who will take the stage at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami later in the evening.
Puppy Bowl XVI airs on Animal Planet at 3 p.m. Sunday. Tailgating kicks off with a Puppy Bowl pregame show at 2 p.m. (also streaming online), featuring adorable analysts providing hair-raising commentary. Fur fans can also catch the Dog Bowl, a football competition for dogs over 3 years old, which premiered Saturday.
You can view the Puppy Bowl’s entire starting lineup on Animal Planet’s website, but here are some notable participants in the pawsome event.
This young lady, a 19-week-old Australian cattle dog-Labrador retriever from Maryland, is her own subwoofer.
New York’s own 20-week-old German shepherd-Samoyed mix loves to “pup-flix and chill.”
A 13-week boxer-American Staffordshire terrier from Pennsylvania, Kingery is royally adorable.
Small but mighty, this Pomeranian-Siberian husky mix “never misses a blowout.”
This 20-week-old Chihuahua-Boston terrier mix is reportedly the original “Love Island” contestant.
From Indiana, Daphne is a 16-week-old German shepherd who steals hearts.
This 14-week-old American Staffordshire terrier from California is billed as “serving his tea piping hot.”
Gina, a 12-week-old Labrador retriever-chow chow mix, is “still trying to master the bottle cap challenge.”
This 22-week-old, an Australian cattle dog mixed with cocker spaniel, loves to play in snow.
Huck, a 20-week-old miniature poodle-Shih Tzu, has an adorable tongue-forward smile.
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