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Animal Planet ‘Puppy Bowl’ Set for Feb. 4

Puppy Bowl, Animal Planet’s annual showcase of young dogs playing football, returns Feb. 4, the same day as Super Bowl LII.

Once again, Team Ruff tackles Team Fluff in the big game, with both squads fighting for the “Lombarky” trophy.

In addition to providing alternative programming to the Super Bowl, Puppy Bowl also draws attention to animal rescue efforts nationwide. All of the pups are available for adoption. Puppy Bowl XIV features 90 dogs rescued from areas that were devastated by natural disasters in 2017, including Houston, Puerto Rico and Florida.

Related: ‘Puppy Bowl’ Takes Bite Out of Social Media on Super Bowl Sunday

The action starts at 3 p.m. ET. Puppy Bowl will be held at the new bone-shaped Geico stadium. Jokgu, the piano-playing chicken from Season 12 of America's Got Talent, will play “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the keyboard.

Animal Planet said the “tail-gaiting” starts with the pre-game show at 2 p.m., featuring “aww-nalysis and cuddly commentary from sports anchor James Hound with Rodt Weiler and Sheena Inu serving as pregame show analysts.” For the seventh consecutive year, Dan Schachner will “rufferee.”

Puppy Bowl is produced for Animal Planet by Discovery Studios. Simon Morris is executive producer and showrunner and Cindy Kain is VP of current production. For Animal Planet, Dawn Sinsel is executive producer and Pat Dempsey is producer. Watch video from previous Puppy Bowls here.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.