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Lace up your cleats and strap on your helmet, because it's time for football! (Or maybe just fire up the grill and wipe down your TV. Whatever works for you.)
The new NFL season begins Thursday night on NBC, as the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens visit Denver to take on the Broncos. If your houses are like ours, then your cats and dogs aren't just hanging around waiting for a piece of hot dog to drop — they're hard-core pigskin fans, just like their humans. The Vetstreet team (plus some friends and family) got so excited for the start of football that we put together this gallery of our animals cheering on our hometown teams. And of course, there are some rivalries.
May the best team win!
Diana Nguyen for Vetstreet
Cupid the Pomeranian is still getting over the 49ers loss to the Ravens in last year’s Super Bowl. He blames the power outage in the Superdome. But the hope of a new season is quickly helping cure his sorrows. He’s certain that Colin Kaepernick and the boys can bring home that Super Bowl victory.
Andrea Serio, Vetstreet
The Seahawks are the only birds this polydactyl feline actually likes. Dolce the Pixiebob will be eagerly watching her favorite team with bated breath in hopes they can make it past the NFC Championships and into the Super Bowl this year.
Cosmo Kramer, a 7-month-old mixed breed, is a cheesehead at heart. Although he refuses to wear the hat, he's excited to cheer on the Green Bay Packers during his first football season. He's ready to see QB Aaron Rodgers in action and knows his team will have a great year. Go Pack!
Shayna Meliker, Vetstreet
Coffee the Cockapoo thinks it's no coincidence that he was born in 2000, the year of the Baltimore Ravens' first-ever Super Bowl win. In addition to his impressive memorabilia collection, Coffee's special game-day outfit includes his purple jersey and four fluffy Ravens booties. He would have applied for Ray Lewis' job, but, unfortunately, he weighs only 14 pounds and lacks opposable thumbs. Ravens Nation, baby!
Are you ready for some cuteness? Meet Cashmere — also known as Cashi-bear — the Cocker Spaniel. This Bears fan will sack any quarterback for a treat.
Black and gold, through and through, Bea the Pomeranian was born to be a Saints fan. The Saintsation cheerleader is always ready to break out into a spirited cheer and carries her pom-poms with her wherever she goes. Who dat?
Allan Halprin, Vetstreet
Peyton Manning, watch out! Cooper the Westie is gunning for your job. You may have the arm, but he has the cuteness.
Chip the chocolate Lab and his buddy Jackson the yellow Lab puppy are huge Pats fans and have their fingers — er, paws — crossed that Rob Gronkowski will make a full recovery from his knee injury. Their fantasy football roster depends on it!
Luna the 10-year-old Chihuahua-Rat Terrier mix retired from the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders years ago, but when it's time to rally for "America's Team," she pulls on her white cowboy boots and gets everyone cheering.
Baby the Pit Bull is ready to crush the Eagles this year! Thank goodness RG3 will be back in the game to make it happen. Hail to the Redskins!
Rick Stoy, Vetstreet
Harper is a 4-month-old Norwich Terrier. Although her parents are longtime Jets fans, her interest in the team isn’t for their football prowess, but more for the amusement factor. The combination of their verbose and unpredictable coach Rex Ryan and their quarterback Mark Sanchez, whose biggest claim to fame has become the “butt fumble," make it quite a circus.
Kristen Seymour, Vetstreet
Hollie (wearing the Jacksonville Jaguars scarf) is a 4-year-old hound mix. She and her sister, Rudi (wearing the Florida Gators collar), a 6-year-old Lab mix, love football season. It's not so much that they care about whether or not their team wins — they just like the fact that lots of people come over to watch the game, and when lots of people come over, there's lots of food. And when there's lots of food, someone almost always drops a potato chip. Worst case scenario: If nobody drops any food, they can usually at least convince some poor soul who is distracted by the football game that they're actually lap dogs and are totally allowed on the couch. (They're not.)
Easton the 3-year-old cat really likes cardinals — whether they’re flitting about the bird feeder or scoring touchdowns on the TV screen.
Arian Foster and Ben Tate don't have anything on these Boxers. Roma and Ceasar love to play ball and couldn't be more excited that the Texans have been predicted to go all the way to SuperBowl XLVIII.
There's no doubt that the Giants' biggest fan is one of its smallest — Bentley the French Bulldog puppy. Just look at his collection of Giants teddy bears!
Beth Thompson, Vetstreet
Alfie the Poodle predicts that if Michael Vick uses his strong arm to throw rather than run the ball, the Eagles could fetch themselves a winning season.
Sir Maxwell Rumbles, a 5-year-old Chiweenie, is the perfect Steelers fan: He keeps his daddy calm when the team isn't doing very well, and howls with him when they score touchdowns.
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