The monarchs of cute over at Animal Planet started something genius a few years ago, and this year, they will continue their adorable tradition by bringing us Puppy Bowl VIII on February 5th. There’s another big game that day, but the true battle for the title of champ will be fought by man’s best friend. And probably more than one player named Champ.

The Puppy Bowl has a short, but snuggly, wuggly history. Puppies learned early that cuteness was the key to dominating and that being floppy and tumbly could distract opponents, but not win bowls. Here are ten clips that showcase how the contest has evolved.

Puppy Bowl I

A historic affair, Puppy Bowl I was a defining moment for sporty dogs everywhere. Ambitious young pups put their hearts, souls and tails into the competition to see who would be the first to be collared as the best in the sport. And the rest of us loudly went, "Awwwwwwwww!"

Puppy Bowl II

By the second match-up, the puppies had honed their skills in jumping on each other, running in circles and being adorable. The competition was fierce and in the end many tails were wagged.

Puppy Bowl III

Likely sparking a dog-roid controversy, the following year some of the players seemed to have gotten fluffier. More fouls were called, but cuteness still dominated and most of the barks were worse than the bites.

Puppy Bowl IV

Tensions ran high during the fourth playing of the Puppy Bowl. It seemed like officials allowed too many "tailbacks" on the field, but play continued anyway. The competitor who was able to convert a turnover into a touchdown made the crucial play of the game. Watch out for that Westie! He's a sneaky little guy.

Puppy Bowl V

The football-playing puppies had earned themselves a loyal fan base, so for the first time, at Puppy Bowl V, tail-gaters were allowed at the stadium. "Being bouncy" and "running around in a circle" were the game-winning strategies and a beagle named Matilda was, paws down, the hero of that fateful day.

Puppy Bowl VI

As the Puppy Bowl gained pup-ularity, more camera angles were needed to provide views of all the action, so the finest hamster pilots were brought in to fly the new Puppy Bowl blimp. One player was heads and tails above the rest in yards run, so the title of MVP (Most Valuable Pup) went to Jake the chihuahua/pug mix.

Puppy Bowl VII

During last year’s Puppy Bowl, ball handling was crucial. With an astounding number of turnovers and rollovers, the score was close right up until the fuzzy wuzzy finish.

Kitty Halftime Show

Of course, no Puppy Bowl is complete without the Kitty Halftime Show. The audience demands to be entertained by energetic kittens who shake their tails and bounce around while the puppies rest up for the second half of their furry clash. Hey, it beats another lackluster U2 performance.

The Streaker

Five years into its history, the Puppy Bowl finally made it into the official sporting event club by having its very own streaker. In the midst of puppy play, an unnamed fan with very little fur entered the field and caused an unsettling disruption.

Hall of Fame

Every sport has its hall-of-famers. Those players who stand out among the rest. Puppy Bowl is no different. Jackson the terrier has made a name for himself and his breed as one of the greatest wide receivers in Puppy Bowl history. His dogged tenacity earned him a place in the record books. Will another star emerge at this year's game? Stay tuned to TheFW for all your Puppy Bowl-related news.

More From TheFW