Puppies, animals compete in special 'Super Bowl' games

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Puppies, kittens and fish take on Super Bowl

Cute puppies are the draw for “Puppy Bowl XI” on Animal Planet. CONTRIBUTED BY ANIMAL PLANET

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While the Super Bowl draws in millions of viewers, another game has captured the hearts of tons of furry fans -- the Puppy Bowl.

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This year, Puppy Bowl XII will be aired on Animal Planet on Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. ET and will re-air multiple times throughout the day.

The game involves shelter puppies who compete on a mini football field. A halftime show will be performed by kittens, and chickens will act as cheerleaders. There's also a “rufferee,” a sideline reporter and special effects like slow-motion replays, a water bowl cam and a kiss cam.

In its inception a decade ago, the first Puppy Bowl drew in 150,000 viewers. Last year, at least 10 million people watched at least portion of the game.

“We’ve upped the absurdity of it all,” said Melinda Toporoff, an Animal Planet executive producer for the Puppy Bowl.

One change the Animal Planet team has made includes naming the two participating teams -- Fluff and Ruff. The teams have a chance to score touchdowns by pushing a chew toy into the end zone. There's even a fantasy football league for the furry athletes.

Wanting to see some other animals compete in other fun games? 

Catch “Kitten Bowl III” at 9 a.m. on Sunday on the Hallmark Channel and “Fish Bowl III” at 3 p.m. on NatGeoWild on Sunday. Both will replay multiple times throughout the day.

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Puppies, kittens and fish take on Super Bowl

Sunday isn’t just about the Seahawks and the Patriots. Cute puppies await in “Puppy Bowl XI” on Animal Planet. CONTRIBUTED BY ANIMAL PLANET
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Puppy Bowl

If you're looking for a palate cleanser before what's likely to be a knock-down, drag-out match between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots on Feb. 1, tune in to Animal Planet at 3 p.m. for Puppy Bowl XI, with Team Ruff taking on Team Fluff, complete with giggling goat cheerleaders, a water bowl cam and an air show featuring hamsters piloting a Twizzlers biplane. Click through to see a look at 12 members of the starting lineup, and click here to find out more about the game.

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