This year's Puppy Bowl will feature another battle between Team Ruff and Team Fluff. Actor Dan Schachner is back to officiate the game for the seventh time. Someone has to make sure there is no pass interference.
"There are many aspects to this rough job: It’s spokesperson, it’s promotions, sometimes researcher and I’m producing a segment this year," Schachner told For The Win this week about his job. "On set, you’re the gatekeeper. You’re maintaining order among the chaos. There are 12 dogs around you, you’re trying to find out they’re being safe, you’re the first line of defense. Then it’s about getting them inspired to run a ball into the end zone. They can run or kick a toy into any end zone, the rules are pretty loose."
This year's show is also about finding homes for puppies. The teams will feature puppies rescued from natural disasters last year, including Houston, Puerto Rico and Florida.
This year's puppies represent 48 shelters from 26 states. Mango, a Staffordshire-Chihuahua mix, is representing a shelter in Mexico, becoming the first international Puppy Bowl player.
The event started in 2005, and has become the biggest event of the year for Animal Planet. The 2017 Puppy Bowl was the second-highest rated ever, drawing in 2.5 million viewers and a 1.11 rating in the 25-54 demographic.
“It’s the biggest event of the year,” Ben Price, President of Ad Sales for Discovery Communications, told Fortune Friday. It’s been growing every year since it started, and this year will be a record revenue growth.”
Unfortunately, you cannot adopt the puppies you see in the Puppy Bowl. The show is not filmed live, and many of them are adopted by the time it airs. However, the show raises awareness for the shelters, which all have plenty of adorable dogs you can make your own.
Animal Planet will also air the first ever Dog Bowl on Saturday. The special airs at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. C.T. Instagram stars Manny the Frenchy and Mervin the Chihuahua will be there.
Photo credit: Facebook/ Puppy Bowl