Puppy Bowl XVI: Everything you need to know

Photo: Puppy Bowl XVI key art.. Image Courtesy Animal Planet
Photo: Puppy Bowl XVI key art.. Image Courtesy Animal Planet /

Puppy Bowl XVI is coming soon, and we have everything you need to know.

Puppy Bowl XVI (Puppy Bowl 16) is almost here, as Team Ruff and Team Fluff are set to battle for the Chewy.com Lombarky Trophy at GEICO Stadium. (Puns are highly encouraged and add greatly to the overall experience, which we highly approve of.)

The adorable annual Animal Planet extravaganza will take place on Sunday, February 2 this year, with the game beginning at 3 p.m. ET. Dan Schecter will again serve as the rufferee.

As we speculated last fall, the teams will be rocking new colors this year for the first time ever, as Bark Blue and Tail Mary Tangerine take over from hunter green and yellow,

[Want to learn about the history of the event? Click here for more information.]

96 puppies from 61 shelters and 25 states will be participating, with players from Canada, the US Virgin Islands and Columbia in the mix as well.

The Puppy Bowl Pregame Show will open things up on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, with aww-nalysis and commentary from Rod Weiler, James Hound and Sheena Inu.

Among the special features are the Arm and Hammer Clump and Seal Litter Kitty Halftime Show starring Catira and Jennipurr Lopez, and the Subaru Pup Close and Personal segments hosted by TV personality Jill Rappaport.

There will be slow motion replays of all the best highlights from the Chewy.com Pylon Cam, and the Water Bowl Cam is back, along with the very cute Pedigree Puppy Kiss Cam. Impressive aerial views of the action will come from the Temptations Skybox, where the VIPs (Very Impawtant Purrers) watch in style.

New to the game this year is the Home Depot Training Room, where the players can tune up their skills before taking the field.

Fans are encouraged to follow all the action on Animal Planet’s Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube feeds, and vote for the Milk-Bone MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) during the game on Twitter.

There will be a pawful of special needs players in Puppy Bowl XVI, including Ferris the three-legged Labrador, along with the Great Dane Kismet and Chihuahua mix Paprika, both of whom are deaf.

At 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 1, the Puppy Bowl festivities will officially kick off with Dog Bowl III, where Team Oldies will take on Team Goldies in a battle for supremacy among adult and senior rescue dogs. Last year saw the Goldies resort to some wily trickeration to claim the 28-21 victory.

In Puppy Bowl XV, the Ruffers won a high-scoring shootout to snap a three-year losing streak.

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Will you be cheering for a Team Ruff repeat, or are you looking forward to Team Fluff regaining the title? Stay with Dog O’Day, along with our sister sites within the FanSided Network, for all your Puppy Bowl news, opinion and analysis on Super Bowl Sunday.