Buttons, Mr. Wigglesworth and Jennifer Pawrence: ‘Puppy Bowl’ lineup announced

Billed as the "cutest competition in sports history," the Puppy Bowl airs February on Animal Planet.

WASHINGTON — It’s the most hotly anticipated sporting event of the winter. No, it’s not the Super Bowl or the PyeongChang Olympics. It’s the 14th annual Puppy Bowl, and we’re already wagging with anticipation.

Billed as the “cutest competition in sports history,” the two-hour competition airs Feb. 4 at 3 p.m. on Animal Planet.

Ahead of the games next month, Animal Planet has unveiled the starting lineups for “#TeamRuff” and “#TeamFluff.”

Animal Planet said it worked with 48 animal shelters and rescue organizations from 25 states and territories to build the rosters for both teams. This year’s game will also features pups rescued from areas devastated by natural disasters, including Houston, Puerto Rico and Florida, Animal Planet said.

Other species are also getting into the act.

The games will begin with a rendition of The Star Spangled Banner by Jokgu, the piano-playing chicken of “America’s Got Talent” fame.

And the half-time show will feature performances by feline group called Kitt-ENSYNC which will perform its rendition of “Meow Meow Meow” to the tune of *NSYNC’s 2000 hit song “Bye Bye Bye.”

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