Puppy Bowl IX: Behind The Scenes Look At Animal Planet's Super Bowl Half Time Show

Category: Entertainment / Feb 01, 2013 2:01PM EDT
If Beyonce is not your idea of Super Bowl half time entertainment, U.S. television network Animal Planet is providing a cute alternative. For the ninth year in a row the channel will be holding its annual Puppy Bowl filled with furry fun and some fouls. In November last year the network assembled 63 pups at a New York studio from various animal shelters around the country to play in the game. Referee Dan Schachner explained some of the differences between the real game and the canine competition. "There is the obvious like physical fouls that are dumped on the field. And you know, that's like illegal wetting of the field. Or preliminary fertilization of the grass -- that unnecessary fertilization of the grass. The penalties change from dog to dog. And we usually set them back, you know, another five ten yards," said Schachner. However, one similarity is the family bonds which both games carry. The teams playing in the Super Bowl are coached by brothers who are just 15 months apart in age. The San Francisco 49ers head coach is Jim Harbaugh and his older brother John Harbaugh leads the Baltimore Ravens. At the Puppy Bowl, two brothers from the same litter, Eli and Tuck, who are Shepherd-Pit Bull mixes, will be competing against each other for the title. But the real winners in the game are the animal shelters who benefit from the pet adoption theme on which the game was created. "There's always been an adoption message behind the puppy bowl, which is we're trying to raise awareness for the shelters and all the animals that need forever homes. So while it's cute and it's cuddly there is also some substance behind the style of the fluff," said Puppy Bowl executive producer Melinda Toporoff. In between all the cuteness, the game does come with some challenges for Schachner. "You get a couple of punks out there that don't like the call. So they'll come at you with a bite or a little kick or something like that. I just ignore it and let it roll off my shoulders because, you know, I just say, they are pups, they're kids basically, so I give them a pass," said Schachner. The Puppy Bowl will air on February 3rd on Animal Planet. (Video Source: Reuters)