2021 Puppy Bowl: see photos and videos

January 6, 2021

Puppy Bowl (Photo by Elias Weiss Friedman/Discovery+/Animal Planet)

 

The following is a press release from Discovery Networks:

“We need puppies now more than ever!” said everyone. Have no fear because television’s cutest sports competition and the original call-to-adoption TV event “Puppy Bowl” returns on Sunday, February 7, 2021 for the biggest, most exciting game to date, now as a 3-hour event that can be viewed on both Discovery+, the definitive non-fiction, real life subscription streaming service that features a landmark partnership with Verizon that gives their customers with select plans up to 12 months of Discovery+ on Verizon, and Animal Planet on February 7, 2021, at 2PM ET/11AM PT. Join Discovery+ and Animal Planet for this special three-hour event to experience all the fuzzy puppy faces from Team Ruff and Team Fluff who go paw to paw to win the Chewy “Lombarky” trophy in “Puppy Bowl’s” all-new venue, a ‘stadium within a stadium’ that’s bigger and better than ever before. Be sure to be on the lookout for Team Ruff who is looking to reclaim their title after last year’s loss – they’re coming back with a vengeance! Gear up because it’s officially the most wonderful time of the year for the biggest game of the year – “Puppy Bowl XVII”!

“Puppy Bowl” celebrates adoptable pups in all their cuteness and showcases the incredible shelters and rescues, as well as their staffers, who dedicate their lives to helping animals find their loving homes. In years past, “Puppy Bowl” is 16 for 16 with the adoption rate at 100% as all puppies and kittens featured in “Puppy Bowl” to date have found their forever homes with loving families. And even though this past year has been different from year’s past, one thing is for certain—there will be a “Puppy Bowl”—and discovery+ and Animal Planet continue this annual tradition to highlight these special puppy players and kittens so that they can finally find the place they are meant to call ‘home.’

This year, 22 shelters and rescues from nine Northeastern States are enlisted to bring 70 incredible adoptable puppy players out for “Puppy Bowl” to sport their Team Ruff ‘Tail Mary Tangerine’ and Team Fluff ‘Bark Blue’ bandana colors. What genetic traits are these pups bringing to the game? With the Wisdom Panel™ dog DNA test, we’ll find out what’s beyond those big puppy dog eyes and how each dog’s breed mix might give them an advantage on the field. We’ll see their skills playout in the brand-new Geico Stadium, where these adoptable players have even more room to rumble and fumble!  Fan-favorite elements, including slow motion replays, nose-to-nose action from the famous water bowl cam, and aerial shots of the field from the brand-new Temptations Sky Box are all back this year, along with epic drone shots of puppy players across the arena that bring audiences as close as possible to all the game-play action. The Home Depot goal post nets serve as the backdrop to every touchdown and field goal as audiences have a front row seat view through lens of the cameras in the Chewy end zone pylons.

Joining this year as “Puppy Bowl XVII” announcers are ESPN’s Monday Night Football play- by- play announcer Steve Levy and SportsCenter host Sage Steele who will be providing puppy analysis throughout the game! The “Puppy Bowl XVII” Pre-Game Show begins at 1 PM ET/ 10 AM PT where long-time “Puppy Bowl” sports correspondents Rodt Weiler, James Hound and Sheena Inu, and field reports Brittany Spaniel and Herman Shepard pump up the crowd with pup insights on the furry matchups before the big game. Sponsored by [ yellow tail ]® wine, the Pre-Game Show will also offer ideas on how to create a “Puppy Bowl” “tail”gate party for the perfect viewing experience. The game opens with a special performance of the National Anthem by singing-group and internet sensation, Boys World, before kicking off with the pups of the Pedigree Starting Lineup, who are giving it their all to compete for the one and only Bissell MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) award by scoring the most touchdowns. Who will take home the title this year to join the greats of puppies past in the Puppy Bowl MVP Hall of Fame? Tune in to find out this and which lucky pup will also take home the coveted Subaru of America Inc. Underdog Award!

Joining the game for the 10th year in a row is America’s favorite “Rufferee,” Dan Schachner, who, after a decade, is ready to call the puppy penalties, ruffs & tumbles, and pawsome touchdowns for a game unlike any other. Award-winning animal advocate and television correspondent Jill Rappaport also returns to introduce the Subaru of America, Inc. Pup Close and Personal segments that shine a light on some of these adorable athletes and other adoptable puppies across the country, in addition to the special Senior Spotlight stories which showcase that age is just a number with senior dogs who are ultimately puppies at heart.

This year’s Pup Close and Personal highlights include a special profile of actress and animal advocate Kristen Bell who has teamed up with Annenberg PetSpace in Los Angeles to spend time with Java, a Labrador mix puppy looking for a fur-ever home to snuggle in; Biscuit, a very special Maltese mix pup from Paw Works in LA, who gets a special day out with one lucky kid baker from Food Network’s ‘Kid Baking Championship,’ where we’ll also hear from hosts Valerie Bertinelli & Duff Goldman; Fozzie, a Foster Dogs Inc. Norwegian Elkhound who experiences his first ever grooming from Harlem Doggie Day Spa; and Foofur, a Shepherd mix puppy who is cared for by a very special foster under the PAWS Chicago foster program. Other in-depth profiles include Marshall, a deaf Boston Terrier mix rescue pup who’s training with Green Dogs Unleashed to be a therapy dog, where at a local hospital, he will provide a group of COVID ER nurses with a much-needed mental break in the midst of the pandemic; Jett, a double front amputee Labrador mix from Pets With Disabilities in Maryland, who is prepping for the big game with regular jaunts along the countryside with his fellow special needs cat and dog companions; and Stitch, a Hound mix, who at Wilburton Inn-New England dog friendly resort in Vermont, enjoys a special day out at the Inn on a mission to meet an adopter, before getting scrappy on the field.

Audiences will also see four incredible Senior Spotlight profiles that include Scoobert, an 8-year-old Chihuahua Boxer mix from mix from Young at Heart Sanctuary in Chicago who even though is a senior pooch with medical needs, has a special zest for life; veterinarian Dr. Kwane Stewart, aka @thestreetvet, who treats homeless dogs off the streets of Los Angeles at no cost; Mona, a 10-year-old Toy Poodle mix who undergoes reiki healing sessions at Den Retreat in Los Angeles for a more peaceful state of mind; and Blossom, an American Staffordshire Terrier, who has become the poster pup for the ‘Pitbulls in flower crowns’ series by rescue advocate and photographer Sophie Gamand. Puppy Bowl XVII will also feature five special needs players who are looking forward to finding their loving home including Jett, and four hearing impaired pups including Marshall, a Boston Terrier; Fletcher, an American Bull Dog; Theodore, a Pyr Border Collie; and Rumor, a Heeler mix.

Additionally, for the first time ever on the sidelines, our Team Ruff and Team Fluff players will be cheered on by none other than adoptable puppy cheerleaders who will root and howl for their favorite players. These cheerleading pups will turn up the volume with cuteness overload by shaking their pom poms as the Puppy Bowl XVII players make their way down the field! Midway through the game, get ready to turn up the beat and put on your dancing shoes for the Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal™ Kitty Half-Time Show. Audiences will experience the neon dance party they’ve been waiting for all year and rave to the purr-fect beats dropped by senior rescue cat DJ Grand Master Scratch. As an after-party treat, viewers will even be able to see a special adoption update on where these dancing felines found their loving new homes with their loving new forever dance partners.

As a bonus treat for this year’s Puppy Bowl XVII, audiences will also see exciting new ‘Adoptable Pup’ segments, hosted by Dan Schachner and sponsored by Chewy. Sprinkled throughout the program, 11 shelters from around the country will feature one of their special pups (and a few kittens during Kitty Half-Time!) that are all up for adoption during the game!

Puppy Bowl digital audiences can point their paws to PuppyBowl.com to vote for their favorite pup in the ‘Pupularity Playoffs’ bracket style tournament featuring photos by Instagram sensation @TheDogist. Audiences can also check out an exciting live puppy playtime scrimmage on Animal Planet’s TikTok in the lead up to Puppy Bowl XVII. Fans may also be able to see their own animal featured in a photo gallery on PuppyBowl.com when they post a pic of their fur-baby watching Puppy Bowl XVII and tag #PuppyBowl. For more fun social content, head to FacebookInstagramTwitter, and TikTok for original videos, GIFs, Instagram Stickers, a Puppy Bowl AR Filter, and more. Audiences can also follow discovery+ on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

Fans can also access even more furry fun and exclusive content by downloading Discovery+. Leading up to “Puppy Bowl,” Discovery+ and Animal Planet GO users will find exclusive in-app original programming, including the “Puppy Bowl” midform series “Pupclose & Personal”, where NFL stars Chris Godwin, Ronnie Stanley, and Ryan Kerrigan reveal their personal pup adoption stories to share why they’re so passionate about canine causes. Pus, we’ll also see Dan the Ref take us down memory lane, highlighting the very best and firsts of “Puppy Bowl’s” 17-year history. Additionally, fans are also invited to Tweet along with game day commentator Meep The Bird and vote in real time, for the winner of the Most Valuable Puppy award. Results will be revealed during the epic program.

Official “Puppy Bowl XVII” sponsors include Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal, Bissell, Chewy, Geico, The Home Depot, Pedigree, Subaru of America Inc., Temptations, Wisdom Panel dog DNA test and [ yellow tail ]® wine.

For more information about the shelters, rescues and organizations that participated in “Puppy Bowl XVII” Animal Planet audiences can visit Puppybowl.com/Adopt.

“Puppy Bowl XVII” is produced for Animal Planet by Bright Spot Content, an All3Media America company. Simon Morris is executive producer and showrunner with Cindy Kain and Sandy Varo Jarrell also serving as executive producers. For Animal Planet, Dawn Sinsel serves as senior executive producer and Pat Dempsey is supervising producer.

Eddie Van Halen, influential guitarist of rock band Van Halen, dead of cancer at age 65

October 6, 2020

by Carla Hay

On October 6, 2020, Eddie Van Halen, who is widely considered one of the most influential rock guitarists of all time, died at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California, after a long battle with lung cancer and throat cancer. He was 65. His son and only child, Wolfgang Van Halen, made the announcement on his official Twitter account. Wolfgang’s statement read: “I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodwijk Van Halen, has lost his long arduous battle with cancer this morning. He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift. My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss.”

Born on January 26, 1955, Eddie and his older brother Alex Van Halen were Dutch immigrants whose parent settled in Pasadena, California, in 1962. Their father Jan was a musician, and their mother Eugenia was a homemaker. The Van Halen brothers (who eventually became U.S. citizens) formed their namesake band in Pasadena in 1972. By 1974, the band’s classic lineup consisted of lead guitarist Eddie Van Halen, lead singer David Lee Roth, drummer Alex Van Halen and bassist Michael Anthony. Eddie was a self-taught guitarist whose “fretboard tapping” style of playing was considered hugely influential to countless guitar players.

Van Halen’s self-titled 1978 album was an instant smash, yielding the hit singles “Runnin’ With the Devil” and a cover version of The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me.” The band went on to have numerous multiplatinum albums and hit singles for the rest of its career, most notably the “1984” album (which had the No. 1 single “Jump”) and 1991’s Grammy-winning “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” album, which was best known for the chart-topping song “Right Now.”

Roth parted ways with the band in 1985, when he launched a solo career, and he was replaced by Sammy Hagar, who was fired in 1996. Van Halen announced a reunion with Roth in 1996, but that reunion did not turn into an album or tour, as Roth acrimoniously split with the band again. Gary Cherone was Van Halen’s lead singer from 1996 to 1999. Cherone recorded only one album with the band: 1998’s “Van Halen III,” which was a commercial disappointment, compared to other Van Halen albums.

Eddie underwent hip-replacement surgery in 1999, which led to the band Van Halen going on hiatus until 2003, when Hagar reunited with the band. Hagar was fired again in 2005. Bass player Anthony was fired in 2006, and he was replaced by Eddie’s son Wolfgang.

Eddie married actress Valerie Bertinelli in 1981. Their son Wolfgang was born in 1991. The couple officially divorced in 2007, after being separated since 2001. Eddie married publicist Janie Liszewski in 2009. In several media interviews, Eddie (who was a recovering alcoholic and cocaine addict) credited Liszewski with helping him stay clean and sober since 2008. However, he still admitted to indulging in his addiction to nicotine.

In 2007, Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and reunited with Roth for a successful tour that launched later that year. Roth stayed in Van Halen’s final lineup, which toured off and on until 2015. Van Halen’s last studio album of new songs was 2012’s “A Different Kind of Truth.” In 2012, Eddie was diagnosed with diverticulitis. His battle with cancer had been going on for several years before it was officially made public in 2019.

Food Network announces ‘All-Star Best Thing I Ever Ate’ series of specials

June 18, 2020

Bobby Flay and Sunny Anderson (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

The following is a press release from Food Network:

Food Network’s biggest stars offer the ultimate guide for the best dishes they have ever had while also giving viewers an up close and personal look at recipes to make at home in “All-Star Best Thing I Ever Ate,” premiering Monday, July 20th at 9pm ET/PT on Food Network. Whether it is the most sensational sandwiches, best burgers, or one of a kind dishes, Food Network icons showcase the best bites they have tasted through eight one-hour special episodes, with Sunny Anderson, Valerie Bertinelli, Alton Brown, Anne Burrell, Bobby Flay and Alex Guarnaschelli also sharing some of their own personal recipes that take on each episode’s culinary theme, perfect for viewers at home.

“We are excited to bring ‘All-Star Best Thing I Ever Ate’ to the schedule, as fans get more of what they crave with firsthand recommendations for the best dishes and personal recipes from Food Network’s biggest stars,” said Courtney White, President, Food Network.

Throughout the season culinary pros give their picks for the country’s most amazing eats. Guy Fieri takes viewers on a journey to the bright lights of Las Vegas to get his favorite meaty burrito guaranteed to satisfy cravings, while Molly Yeh divulges where to find the best fried pickles in Bismarck, North Dakota, and Rachael Ray has an unbeatable breakfast sandwich in Pittsburgh. And for those who want to make the best thing they ever ate, don’t miss recipes from Food Network’s stars, including Bobby Flay’s perfect rib eye, Alton Brown showing how to make pizza on the grill, and Valerie Bertinelli’s delectable homemade churros.

Head to FoodNetwork.com/BestThingIEverAte to see where your favorite chefs like to eat and to catch up on past episodes. Follow #BestThingIEverAte on Food Network’s social channels to weigh in on your ultimate restaurants and favorite meals.

Food Network debuts ‘Family Food Showdown’ with host Valerie Bertinelli

January 24, 2019

Valerie Bertinelli
Valerie Bertinelli (Photo courtesy of Food Network)

The following is a pres release from Food Network:

Families that cook together stay together, and those that do it well have the chance to win $10,000 on new Food Network series Family Food Showdown. Valerie Bertinelli hosts as families face off in a fast-paced, action-packed culinary competition beginning on Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 8pm ET/PT. In each episode, two families are pitted against each other in three rounds of challenges designed to test their cooking skills, recipes and family dynamics. The teams must blow away a rotating panel of culinary experts including Kardea Brown, Clinton Kelly, Antonia Lofaso, Daphne Oz, Jamika Pessoa, Christian Petroni, Courtney Rada, Jake and Jazz Smollet, Tori Spelling, Jet Tila, Isaac Toups, Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, Molly Yeh and more, to keep their family pride and take home the grand prize!

“Family Food Showdown has all the ingredients to captivate audiences with tension and unpredictable twists, mixed with family heritage and tradition, and even some comedic relief, as the families cook together on the clock in a high-stakes showdown,” said Courtney White, President, Food Network. “Host Valerie Bertinelli adds in her signature charisma and charm to this relatable family-centric culinary competition.”

The action unfolds as two families, comprised of three family members, endure three rounds of cooking challenges with surprising curveballs as they vie for advantages along the way. Throughout 13 hourlong episodes, the competing teams tackle challenges from Sunday suppers and delicious leftover dinners, to taco fiestas, and over-the-top breakfasts in their bid for the grand prize.

During the first round, the families must work together to create a dish that represents who they are as a family. As the competition progresses to round two, family recipes and dynamics are put to the test when Valerie announces that each family must eliminate one member of their own team. Strategy ups the ante in the last round of the contest, as each team must eliminate someone from the other team, putting the weight of the competition on the shoulders of one final family member for each. Only one family in each episode will earn $10,000 grand prize and keep their family pride.

Fans can get to know the families before every episode on Food Network’s app as they take on a series of digital-only challenges and can catch Valerie and the judges play a series of Beat the Heat games on Food Network’s Instagram Stories. Also viewers can go behind the scenes of the competition with insider photos and top video moments at FoodNetwork.com/FamilyFoodShowdown, and join the conversation anytime by using #FamilyFoodShowdown.

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FOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers’ best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring, empowering and entertaining through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to nearly 100 million U.S. households and draws over 46 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine’s rate base has grown 13 times and is the No. 2 best-selling monthly magazine on the newsstand, with 13.5 million readers. Food Network is owned by Discovery, Inc., a global leader in real life entertainment spanning 220 countries and territories; the portfolio also includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, TLC, Investigation Discovery, and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.