Warning: This Puppy Bowl Ref Will Call Penalties For ‘Excessive Cuteness’

Let’s face it: Nothing’s more adorable than the fuzzy-wuzzy, little athletes who play in Animal Planet’s annual Puppy Bowl. With all that cuteness, it’s hard to stay focused on the game.

That’s where Dan Schachner comes in. He’s the referee for the big game, and it’s his job to make sure all of those puppies chasing, nipping and tackling each other for chew toys on the 10-by-19 indoor football field adhere to the rules and avoid any unnecessary, um, ruff-ness.

Schachner spoke with MTV News about what it’s like to keep all this cute overload under control.

“We have basically two sets of categories in penalties,” Schachner said. “We have the ones based on human football, so instead of pass interference, we have paws interference. Instead of illegal formation, we have illegal fur-mation — little pun plays on existing penalties.”

The second set of penalties only applies to puppies.

“Penalties that are specific to puppy bowl, things that would only happen with puppies, are thing like illegal napping, which is a new,” he added. “Then you have premature watering of the lawn — you can probably figure that one out — and excessive cuteness, which is when you got a nice close up shot of five or so puppies with their snouts all together. That’s just too much cute on the field, and I have to separate them to focus on the game.”

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Good thing, too, because the stakes are higher this year. For the first time in the game’s 11-year history, there will be two distinct teams: Team Ruff and Team Fluff.

Each team will vie for the coveted “Lumbarki” trophy, and the standout pooch will be crowned MVP (Most Valuable Puppy).

The game, which airs on Animal Planet Sunday (February 1) at 3 p.m., should be fun and action-packed, according to Schachner, who will make sure none of the pups fall asleep on the job.

“Illegal napping happens more than you think,” he said. “If I see napping, I’m putting a stop to it.This year we have 85 puppies participating. With 55 of those in the starting lineups, that leaves 30 dogs sitting on the bench. If I see any of them napping, I’m swapping them out.”

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Article source: http://www.mtv.com/news/2064183/puppy-bowl-referee/

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