The Puppy Bowl, the world's finest example of counter-programming, has become a Super Sunday staple. Puppy Bowl VIII debuts on Sunday at 3 p.m. on Animal Planet. What follows is a brief and 100% false scouting report of the top competitors in Sunday's competition.
Prancer. Female. Shih Tzu/Chihuahua Mix.
Prancer has been a lonesome drifter since Jerry Garcia's death in 1995 and the time of her last bath in unknown. Prancer lacks the aggression of some of the fiercer animals in the field, but her toughness is legendary. This will be Prancer's first Puppy Bowl, but she's competed for years in the underground equivalent, the Cage of Puppy Mayhem, which is contested on a concrete floor in a dirty basement in Queens (Spike TV counterprograms it against the World Series of Poker). Prancer is a two-time CPM champion, winning once with two broken legs. They have never healed.
Friday. Male. Maltese/Poodle Mix.
Friday's foofie appearance belies an inner anger born out of years of trying to convince people that he's a boy. He's not a powerhouse and his mouth is small — just big enough to bite off the tip of a human pinky. Friday has 53 human pinkies in his collection.
Malie. Female. Pit Bull Mix.
The rumor on the Puppy Bowl sidelines is that Michael Vick once looked at Malie and said, "Nope. I ain't messin' with that one," and then peed on himself. Vick had a mistaken impression, though — Malie isn't a vicious, ill-tempered, dog-beast; she just looks like it. She'll fare well in the competition based on intimidation alone, but inside, she's nothing but a well-meaning sweetheart who loves children, because people get really mad when you say that Pit Bulls are mean.
Leroy Brown. Male. Chihuahua/Terrier Mix.
Leroy Brown may one day be an inspiring story about an alcoholic who turned his life around, but for now, Leroy Brown is still just an alcoholic, and a dangerous one at that. Leroy's lack of a conscience or anything to live for make him dangerous inside the Puppy Bown arena. Fumble (see below) used to have a brother named Drop, until Leroy jammed a shank into his ribcage our sheer boredom.
Hunter. Male. Boxer.
Hunter would be one of the heavy favorites in Puppy Bowl VIII, if he could keep his sex addiction in check. Hunter's legendary exploits with the kittens who perform the Puppy Bowl halftime show (for portions of this Puppy Bowl scouting report, all dogs are boys and all cats are girls) have previously kept him out of the winner's circle. This year, Animal Planet is also bringing in a Piggy Pep Squad, and in recent interviews, Hunter has indicated that he doesn't care about the difference between a cute kitten and a squealing pig.
Fumble. Male. Chihuahua/Terrier Mix.
Fumble is in Puppy Bowl VIII to attempt to avenge the murder of his brother Drop at the hands of Leroy Brown, but most experts doubt that he's capable of it. Anytime Fumble manages to boil himself into a vengeful rage, some human comes up to him with a big smile and a giggle, saying, "Awww, Fumble, I love you!" and he melts into a frisky little ball of adorable puppy joy. The blessing and the curse.
Fonzi. Male. Rat Terrier.
Fonzi doesn't look ferocious — Fonzi looks like an old man with gastrointestinal problems — but this little Rat Terrier is the ringleader of a group of four Rat Terriers in Puppy Bowl VIII. If the Rat Terriers are the Four Horsemen, Fonzi is their Ric Flair. At some point on Sunday, the Rat Terriers are expected to combine forces and work together to seriously injure their arch rival Friday. They've also been known to sneak chocolate into the ring and feed it to their competitors.
Peter. Male. Dachshund.
Peter only became eligible for Puppy Bowl VIII when he was acquitted at the last minute of quadruple-homicide. Police, prosecutors and defense attorneys alike are certain that Peter is responsible for a series of random, senseless murders in the Detroit area, but they can't put him away, because they can't find anyone to testify against him. Peter only barks in the 90 seconds before or after he kills a man. If you hear him make a sound, you turn and run. You run like hell.
Tattoo. Male. Miniature Aussie Mix.
Tattoo hates Americans. His scraggly, unkempt nature makes him look like an easy-going pup, but inside rages a fire of American hatred that cannot be extinguished. Tattoo chewed through the Achilles tendons of three Animal Planet executives until they agreed to play the Australian national anthem before the Puppy Bowl, as well as fill one of the bowls on the field with Fosters Australian Lager. He vows to become champion of Puppy Bowl VIII and institute Australian Puppy Bowl rules for Puppy Bowl IX.
Penelope. Female. Lhasa Apso Mix.
Penelope relies heavily on the fact that she may be the cutest living creature to ever exist on earth. No one would care if Penelope continually sold meth to Dora the Explorer (to my knowledge, she doesn't), because one look at that furry little face turns everyone into a big, soft — Awwww, who's a good girl? Who's a good girl? Is it Penelope? Yes it is, you're a good girl. You're such a good girl. Who loves Penelope? Everyone loves Penelope! Come here and give me big doggie kisses.
Shiloh. Female. Dachshund.
Shiloh has been a thorn in the side of Puppy Bowl producers for years, as she's run a competing event, the borderline-pornographic Lingerie Puppy Bowl. This year, the feds shut her down on grounds of indecency, and upon claims that she's found religion and changed her ways, Shiloh, a veteran pornographer, was able to talk her way into Puppy Bowl VIII. Skeptics worry that the talk of reform is insincere, and she's merely trying to recruit for next year's Lingerie Puppy Bowl from the inside. I fear for Penelope's future.
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