Nightly News   |  February 01, 2013

Behind the scenes at Puppy Bowl

For those who are not into watching the Super Bowl, the ninth edition of the Puppy Bowl, a popular annual competition, airs Sunday at 3 p.m. NBC’s Brian Williams reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> as we may have mentioned, there's a big game on sunday. and while millions upon millions of us football fans will be watching as we do every year, it's not for everybody, and some will be scanning around for an alternative. if, say, puppies are your thing, you're in luck, because for the ninth straight year, this sunday is puppy bowl sunday. and a while back, we got a behind-the-scenes look at animal planet 's annual attempt to provide intentionally fluffy counter programming.

>> you can do this. it's the biggest day of your life.

>> it would be nice to think actual nfl refs did this before a game, but this being the puppy bowl , he's an actor. and a good one. but to be honest, all we're really interested in is that moment when the command goes out and the guests of honor arrive.

>> puppies coming in.

>> when people walk in this room, what do they usually say at first?

>> i think they usually are surprised by how small it is. because the puppies end up looking kind of big on it.

>> the puppies ' job, as they see it, is to love anyone with a pulse. on the field on this tiny sound stage on the west side of manhattan , they do everything puppies do at home. they drink, they wrestle, they pee on the easy-to-clean surface, all of it to the point of exhaustion. they also do other things puppies do at home.

>> you've got to poop. poop patrol coming in.

>> we have many, many personal fouls, and we try not to get those, you know, exposed too much.

>> there's a halftime show of kittens, which some people find explo exploiti exploitive. others find it empowering to the kittens. then back to the action and the reason we're here, for us dog-lovers, a field of dreams , a room full of puppies . and one in particular named pearl really got to us and our relationship escalated quickly. in eye own defense, she was all over me. oh, stop kissing me. okay, if you must. importantly, these are shelter dogs. all 63 of them. and because right down to their individual player profiles on the web, they are all so irresistib irresistible, that's the one frustration viewers may have with this show taped so far in advance.

>> is it at all frustrating, the people who don't know the lead time , and they call in or e-mail you, i want to adopt pearl, and pearl is already in a happy home situation.

>> your home.

>> well -- or one like ours. but at least you can assure people they all go live in good homes.

>> they do. they all go to happy, healthy homes, right?

>> so if your team isn't in the big game sunday, if there are too many penalty time-outs, though come to think of it, we have them here, too -- you may consider this the warm and fuzzy game day alternative.

>> you are ridiculously cute. scared yourself to death.

>> one more note about the lovely pearl. while she did not go home with us, she was adopted by a loving family, and it is enjoying a great life in connecticut. she is now five months old, and the williams family has been granted visitation