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Meet the Puppy Bowl Xl starting lineup before game day

Puppy bowl
Keith Barraclough / Animal Planet

While everyone is gearing up to see the New England Patriots face off against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX, the real highlight of this Sunday will be watching puppies play in Puppy Bowl XI, airing Feb. 1 at 3 p.m. on Animal Planet. 

Referee Dan Schachner's job is to make sure the puppies play a safe, clean game. He also calls puppy penalties, which can lead to expulsion if necessary, and calls touchdowns just like a football referee. And, of course, there are always puppy "messes" to clean up.Damian Strohmeyer / Today

For the first time in Puppy Bowl history, there will be two distinct teams. That is, instead of puppies simply running rampant, jumping and nipping at each other. Team Ruff and Team Fluff will go snout-to-snout to battle for the "Lumbarki" trophy, according to Animal Planet's website, while one or more dogs will be crowned MVP (Most Valuable Puppy). And if you stick around for halftime, be sure to catch the kitten show and goat cheerleaders performance as well.

Goats cheer on the puppies when they score.Damian Strohmeyer / Today

Meet a few precious pups in the starting lineup (some of which are rescues) and watch them prepare for the big game through Animal Planet's live puppy-cam.

Keith Barraclough / Today


Age: 13 weeks

Breed: Shih Tzu

Fact: Thinks Lorde is overrated.

Keith Barraclough / Today


Age: 14 weeks

Breed: ShihTzu/TerrierMix

Fact: Can’t wait for the new Star Wars movie!

Keith Barraclough / Today


Age: 20 weeks

Breed: Beagle/Dachshund mix

Fact: Was first in line to buy the new iPhone.

Keith Barraclough / Today


Age: 12 weeks

Breed: SharPei

Fact: Can name every state capital.

Keith Barraclough / Today


Age: 12 weeks

Breed: Pekingese/Japanese Chin mix

Fact: Loves car rides.

Keith Barraclough / Today


Age: 12 weeks

Breed: Great Pyrenees/Lab mix

Fact: Wants to be on Dancing with the Stars.

Keith Barraclough / Today


Age: 14 1/2 weeks

Breed: Clumber

Fact: Has a crush on Miley Cyrus.

Keith Barraclough / Today

Drew Carey

Age: 12 weeks

Breed: Cocker Spaniel

Fact: Loves to bid $1 on "The Price is Right."

Keith Barraclough / Today


Age: 15 weeks

Breed: Sheltie mix

Fact: Wants to visit all 50 states.

Keith Barraclough / Today


Age: 17 weeks

Breed: Husky

Fact: Champion chess player.

Keith Barraclough / Today


Age: 13 weeks

Breed: Boxer

Fact: Trained at The Royal Shakespeare Company.

Check out the whole squad below!

The Puppy Bowl is Animal Planet's answer to the Super Bowl. Here is a shockingly cute look at this year's furry lineup.