Puppy Bowl VIII features a tweeting bird and piggy pep squad

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It's a tradition almost as great as the Super Bowl itself - the Puppy Bowl! The eighth annual Puppy Bowl is airing on Animal Planet live Sunday, Feb. 5 at 3 p.m. ET. And what's new this year? Meep the Bird who will tweet all the action from inside the stadium and a piggy pep squad that will "ham" it up on the sidelines and squeal with delight for their favorite pups.

Awesome.

The starting lineup is over on the official website in photo gallery form. Some of our favorites include Abilene, an Australian Shepherd mix who is an expert scuba diver; Calvin, a Dachshund who restores classic cars; Leroy Brown, a Chihuahua/Terrier mix who's favorite sport is baseball (and who we're sure is badder than ol' King Kong); and Penelope, a Lhasa Apso mix who has a crush on Tom Cruise.

And don't forget about the Kitty Halftime Show - that's one of our favorite parts. Squeee! We're just dying from all this cuteness. And remember that all these puppies are from shelters and are up for adoption.

Photo/Video credit: NBC