Starting Lineup Set For Puppy Bowl 2016

Animal Planet's annual Puppy Bowl event provides a fun and pup-ular way to promote dog adoption.

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It's baaack ... puppy play at its best! Via Animal Planet
It's baaack ... puppy play at its best! Via Animal Planet
Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig

It’s the big game you’ve been waiting for — the teams have been determined, the location is set and the players are flying from all parts of the country to participate in the annual event.

No, it’s not Super Bowl 50 — it’s the canine counterpart that pet lovers everywhere enjoy each winter.

That’s right, as the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos warm up for the Feb. 7 championship game, more than 80 adorable pups of all shapes and sizes will take the field at GEICO Stadium in New York City for Puppy Bowl XII.

The annual game, which airs on Animal Planet, takes entertainment to a new level as #TeamFluff and #TeamRuff jump and run and rumble and tumble for the illustrious title of Puppy Bowl champs.

Reportedly cheering from the sidelines will be collection of Silkie chicken cheerleaders, shaking their tail feathers, and the halftime extravaganza will include cute kitties doing what they do best — causing mess and mayhem as they paw their way across historic landmarks like San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge and “Al-Cat-Raz.”

And although watching the cuteness that surrounds the puppy play is addictive, the sporting event is actually a way to promote pet adoption. This year, Animal Planet worked with 44 different animal rescue organizations and shelters from across the United States to fill the rosters and even is incorporating a Puppy Bowl Hall of Fame highlighting the importance of adopting senior dogs, as well.

So who are the players in this year’s “competition?” Here’s a sneak peak at some of the starting lineup.

Team Fluff

Posey, Shih Tzu, 14 weeks old

Gryffin, Old English Sheepdog, 15 weeks old

Bijoux, Great Dane, 12 weeks old

Magic, Chihuahua, 16 weeks old

Team Ruff

Tidley, Brussels Griffon, 13 weeks old

Harper, Pit Bull, 13 weeks old

Darby, Jack Russell Terrier, 15 weeks old

Timber, Labrador Retriever, 14 weeks

For a look at the complete roster, visit Animal Planet.com.

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