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What is the Puppy Bowl?

The 2021 Puppy Bowl will be super-sized this year with an extra hour and new hosts Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart. We break down what it is and how to watch.

In 2005, the brilliant minds at Animal Planet were looking for Super Bowl counter-programming. Most networks don’t even try to compete with the Super Bowl, as it is the top viewed program in the U.S. every single year, with around 100 million viewers. But, PUPPIES! Even if you are a hardcore fan, who doesn’t want to flip the station and see puppies? Nobody, that’s who. And that’s how the Puppy Bowl was born.

What is the Puppy Bowl?

The Puppy Bowl isn’t exactly straight forward, as you can’t compare it to an actual football game. Puppies from local shelters play together inside a miniature stadium. Well, maybe it is straight forward. The action comes from the puppies fighting over chew toys and the “winners” are the pups who snag a toy and drag it across either end zone line.

Team Ruff and Team Fluff face off wearing different colored bandanas to identify their team. The actual scoring started in 2016, when Team Ruff won 70-44. Since then the winners have been Team Fluff, Team Fluff, Team Ruff and then Team Fluff again last year. I’m betting on the team with -uff in their name.

The Puppy Bowl isn’t live and usually takes a few days to film. This time around, due to the pandemic, the Animal Planet team found a hockey arena in upstate Glens Falls, New York to film with social distancing in place. But the biggest changes will be an extra hour, making it a three-hour show and the announcers are new, as Snoop Dog and Martha Stewart will do the play-by-play and commentating. In the past, actual sportscasters have gotten the job.

All of the pups are from shelters and are adopted beforehand and the show will promote adoption throughout.

First Lady Jill Biden will have have a message about adoptions

Kitty Halftime Show

If you need some kitty action, there is a halftime show just for you. No winners or losers, but plenty of kitties playing! That makes us all winners really.

How do I watch?

Kickoff is at 2 p.m. ET on Animal Planet. The show is three hours long and starts around four hours before the Super Bowl.

A live stream of the Puppy Bowl is available via Discovery+,