Super Bowl Sunday means three things this year: Football, felines and furry friends.
Before the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos square off at MetLife Stadium, some adorable puppies and kittens will have their time to shine. This year, the Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl celebrates its 10th anniversary, and to commemorate the occasion, fans will be able to draft a fantasy team. (Bonus: kitten halftime show and penguin cheerleaders!)
Fans can select three puppies based on athleticism, speed and strength — no, just kidding, the choices will be primarily based on cuteness and clever names. But before the puppies kick off, switch over to the Hallmark Channel to see the first annual Kitten Bowl.
NESN.com’s Alison Smith and Anna Fogel preview the under-the-radar puppies and kittens you need to watch during the fierce competitions.
– Suri, a 14-week old Siberian Husky, might look like an innocent pup, but on the field, she’s a ferocious competitor. Suri is tough in the clutch, so look for her late in the game.
– August is a 12-week old Boxer who can overpower the competition and take it to the house like Eddie Lacy. August will be a serious threat in the red zone.
– Abdiel is a Labrador Retriever/Terrier mix who is a direct descendant of the Air Bud dogs, so this game is pretty much over depending on which team Abdiel is a part of.
– Max, an unbearably cute ball of fluff, will crush the competition with his adorableness. He’s a 16-week old Shih Tzu/Pekingese Mix who will bowl over anything in between him and his favorite ball.
– Laney might look docile off the field, but this Brittany Spaniel mix will clobber the competition with kisses.
– Mandy is a 17-week-old Dachshund/Hound mix, and she thinks long legs are overrated. She’s perfectly content to put in twice the work as her competition off the field to make up for what she lacks in height.
– While Andy Dalton is inconsistent on the gridiron, Dandy Dalton can be somewhat of a liability on the playing field, but his strengths far outweigh his weaknesses. Dandy, with his thoughtful demeanor, brings his unselfish playing style to the group.
– Ferrell Owens can be a bit of a diva on the field like his namesake, Terrell Owens, but he’s also a star. Ferrell’s a playmaker, but let’s just hope things go his way because we don’t want things getting catty.
– “Lickbacker” Muffin is the Luke Kuechly of linebackers. Muffin, who surprisingly enjoys romantic comedies, is a hard-hitting kitten who won’t make life easy for the opposition.
– Meowshon Lynch of the North Shore Bengals is a must-pick for any Kitten Bowl fantasy enthusiast. While this kitty doesn’t fuel up with rainbow skittles, he does have two favorites in his diet that will make him a sure winner: cheese and biscuits. If nothing else, he can ward off competitors by making the turf his own litter box.
– Tim Teepaw, ever the under-cat, has the ability to come up big in the clutch. As a wing cat, Tim probably will be seen scratching a post or chasing after a laser pointer.
– Brett Furve loves competition, and that’s why he just can’t let go of the game. This lovable kitten on the Last Hope Lions has an uncertain demeanor, which makes it hard for competitors to predict his next move.
Check out the full Puppy Bowl and Kitten Bowl rosters here and here. Both games aim to bring awareness to rescued and shelter animals. All the athletes involved in Sunday’s activities will be up for adoption by loving families.