7 best moments from the Puppy Bowl referee's interview

January 31, 2015

Ref reveals his favorite dog breed, how long the game takes to film.

The official Puppy Bowl referee, Dan Schachner, answered users' submitted questions on Reddit.com. The interview's highlights are below:

1. On accusations of deflated ball toys following the Patriots' “Deflategate” news: I can say that those allegations are 100 percent false, and the reason I know this is that as the only human involved in Puppy Bowl, it is up to me to personally inspect every single ball on the field. Unless, of course, they are neutered, in which case, I do not.

2. The Halftime Show: We approached Katy Perry's cat-Kitty Purry-and that's true (for those that don't know, that is actually her cat's name) who were not available, so we have our own cat performer, named "Catty Furry." Some say she's better that Kitty Purry, but that's not for me to decide. The haters call her a copycat. I disagree.

3. On allowing cats to play: I think ... that there's always room for cats to move up the ladder, as long as they're not riding someone else's coattails to get there.  Sorry, I couldn't resist! Will we ever see cats on the field? I think there's room for any animal species in sports. Whether that sport is football, baseball, soccer, whatever, I would like to see more animals participating. I think some people might say cats are as athletic, if not MORE so, than dogs. If so, I would welcome the chance to have kittens as part of our next Puppy Bowl draft.

4. Filming the game: Bottom of FormTop of Form The Puppy Bowl is shot about three months in advance. A lot of people don't know this. The reason why it takes so much time is the Puppy Bowl broadcast is a 2-hour event, but it is not a 2-hour event to film. It takes 2 full days to film. Reason being, we are trying to showcase as many different puppies as possible, and we want to rotate them in and out, and give them as many chances to have action on the field as possible!

Additionally, there are 17 cameras shooting the action on the field at the same time. You can imagine, 2 days of shooting, 17 cameras, that is hundreds if not thousands of hours of footage that needs to be watched, logged, and edited.

We also have our integrations-like we talked about our movie partnerships. This year's the integration's with Spongebob. We also have special appearances, this year Drew Carey will be appearing with A Price is Right integration, and we also have a Puppy Bowl Fantasy team that you can create - for that you have to go to AnimalPlanet.com and create your puppy fantasy team and track them and their progress during the game ... so all of that is a long-winded way of saying it takes months to put all this together so that way people can enjoy it as a 2-hour event.

5. Regretting calls: Early on, I started penalizing dogs every time they went to the bathroom. I quickly realized that was a losing battle. And I could do it all day long. So I had to start ignoring that. So my first ten "fouling the field" calls or "premature watering the lawn" calls ... those are the ones I wish I could take back, because I realize I was just wasting my time.

6. Getting the job: Well, the guy before me had the job for seven years, he moved on to work for the Food Network, therefore there was an opening for a Puppy Bowl ref! So I created a crazy audition tape, where I ran around NYC trying to officiate dogs in dog parks, doing little scrimmages with any dogs I could get my hands on, it got me a lot of weird looks from strangers but it got the job so I'm happy in the end.

7. Favorite dog breed: I love beagle mixes because I had one as a child. I just... happened to really love beagles. I also love dachshunds. I'm more a fan of small to medium breeds, and that's probably because I live in Manhattan in a very small apartment-therefore I won't have a Great Dane, or a husky, it would be too much! So smaller, more transportable dogs are better for me and my lifestyle. As a ref, I can't show favoritism, but on the personal side, I'm a sucker for beagles and dachshunds.