During Puppy Bowl VIII, 58 puppies will stumble over their oversize paws while, ideally, making it into the end zone with a chew toy. They might just tumble around mid-field. Making cute little puppy faces at the puppy cam is also an option. It doesn’t really matter — everyone wins here.

We checked in with ref Dan Schachner before the big game to talk puppy strategy — and figure out how to steal his job.

What are your responsibilities as ref?

I’m there mostly to call puppy touchdowns — which happen very frequently, the rules are pretty loose — and puppy penalties. I have the flag in my pocket and I’m not afraid to use it.

 

How do you break up puppy fights?

We have a term called “pancaking” — when you flatten like a pancake — and that’s a reason to give the puppies a little break.

Which dogs are the most athletic?

The shih tzus are cute, but the more robust breeds are the ones that are going to score. Surprisingly, the dachshunds are great running backs. They seem kind of quiet and baffled at first, but when they get that chew toy they score.

Be honest:?Does cuteness help when it comes to calls?

Cuteness doesn’t affect me one way or the other. But what I do have to turn a blind eye to are the puppy fouls — the premature watering of the lawn. We have to let some of those go or we’d never get on with the game. That said, if there’s a really big foul left in the middle of the field, that will result in at least a 10-15 yard penalty.

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