With the exception of stuffing yourself with Cool Ranch Doritos, day drinking and actually paying attention to commercials, there's really no other Super Bowl-related activity more important than tuning into Animal Planet's annual Puppy Bowl. This year's Puppy Bowl VIII has a stellar starting lineup of young, whiskered all-stars who definitely look like they're ready for some football. Check out a few of our favorite furry faces from 2012's team in the gallery above and see the whole crew here. Go, dogs, go! We have some game day predictions to make, but first some important Puppy Bowl VIII news:

-- Though the cheer squad has included bunnies and chickens in years past, PB VIII's cheerleaders are pigs! The Piggy Pep Squad will likely bring fabulous new meaning to the phrase "rooting from the sidelines."

-- This year features "Meep the Bird," who will be tweeting about behind-the-scenes tidbits from Animal Planet Stadium. The feed is empty right now, but you know that Friday is already pulling some "unpuppylike conduct" shit during practices. Start pre-tweeting, Meep! We need the dirt.

dan-schachner-175x175.jpg-- There's a new ref named Dan. According to a Q&A on the PB site, his favorite plays to call include "Unnecessary ruff, ruff, ruff-ness," "Illegal Use of the Paws," and "Excessive cuteness on the Field."


PUPPY BOWL VIII PREDICTIONS:

MVP: Malie. Those are the mis-matched eyes of an ace athlete who out-performs every time. The team couldn't do it without you, Malie!

Best athlete: Baskin. Just look at that mug! He's obviously a great runner, very determined and will smoke slugs like Anthony and Lucie, both shoo-ins for Best On-Field Nappers.

Coach favorite: Calvin. Clearly a true-blue guy.

Ejected from game: Friday.

Most likely to ask out a Bissell Kitty Half-Time dancer after being ejected from game: Friday

Most likely to eat the hamsters piloting the IceBreakers Mints overhead blimp: Abilene wants blood.

The Puppy Bowl airs Sunday, February 5th, at 3-5  p.m. E/P. All of the players featured in PB VIII are also up for adoption! Info here. (We also know of some adoptable pups at the Humane Society of New York who would make a great addition to any team, by the by.).


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