The Word: Meet ‘Puppy Bowl’ referee Dan Schachner

Meet "Puppy Bowl" ref Dan Schachner.

Dan Schachner has not been killed by cuteness. Far from it: The actor was all business refereeing “Puppy Bowl IX,” the annual Animal Planet game that pits one adorable team of puppies against another. He talked with us about making sure the pups play a clean game, the newest addition of hedgehog cheerleaders and about looking out for No. 1 (and 2).

What precautions do you have in place to make sure the “Puppy Bowl” doesn’t  become a “Poopy Bowl”?
Even with all the precautions, there really is no way to prevent a “Poopy Bowl.” These pups only have one thing on their mind — playing a great game and scoring as many touchdowns as possible. If an on-field accident should occur (and they do), we need to act fast to clean up the “foul” before it affects the action on the field. Puppies will be puppies, even when they’re playing football in a mini stadium.

Have there been any rumors of off-field puppy doping?
There is a rigorous medical exam and physical for all the pups. We can’t have them disgrace “Puppy Bowl’s” good name after all. They are aware of the strict consequences if any tests should come back positive. The kittens, on the other hand, are addicted to cat nip, but we go easy on them since the are always nervous before the halftime show. I’m joking. Cat nip is a serious problem for kitties in America.

Baby hedgehogs will be the cheerleaders. Can they get the crowd going?

These are tough hedgehogs with a lot of spirit! Personally, I think they out-pep last year’s Piggy Pep Squad but don’t quote me on that. You’ll see the hedgehogs in tutus with miniature footballs rooting for their favorite pups throughout the game on Sunday.

Who will be MVP?
I feel like Chestnut is a shoo-in for MVP (Most Valuable Puppy). Do you have dibs on anyone?
Chestnut definitely plays a great game. That little pup doesn’t stop for anything! Personally, I’m a big fan of Oscar, a 15-week-old Dachshund who’s favorite dish is weiner schnitzel. I would keep an eye on him if I were you.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.