The Puppy Bowl: Sunday’s other big game

There are three guarantees of Super Bowl Sunday:

  1. There will be tortilla chips, so many tortilla chips.
  2. There will be commercials that will give you pause.
  3. A few channels away, there will be roly-poly puppies with soft bellies and floppy ears, widdle black noses and football-shaped toys, squeeee.

On Animal Planet’s ninth annual Puppy Bowl, which begins Sunday at 3 p.m. and airs on repeat for the rest of the day, you don’t have to pick a team to root for. The puppies always win.

Gallery: Behind the scenes at the Puppy Bowl (Linda Davidson/for The Washington Post)

I spent two days at the Puppy Bowl taping last November for Sunday Style’s behind-the-scenes look at the cutest show on TV, and its impact on Internet culture. A few things that you won’t see on the show: Anxious hovering of hedgehog parents, performance-enhancing drugs (read: catnip) administered to the kitties and this scene:

“I don’t know why, but everyone else refused to do this job,” said Jessi Baden-Campbell, the unlucky line producer for Discovery Studios, as she stepped onto the 10-by-19-foot “field” with cleaning solution in hand. She may be the busiest person in the Puppy Bowl. In minutes her services are needed again.

“We’ve got a puker!” calls out a cameraman.

And again.

“Someone made a touchdown right here!” calls out another, using a euphemism for a moment you probably won’t see on TV.

Read the rest of the story here. And get your cute fix in the photo gallery below.

Gallery: Meet the Puppy Bowl “athletes.” (Adele Godfrey/Animal Planet)
Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.
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Dan Zak · February 1, 2013