Super Bowl: Why watch men toss a football when you can go to the Otter Bowl?


Suspense is building as three teams hunker down for Sunday’s Super Bowl: the Denver Broncos, the Carolina Panthers and the Aquarium of the Pacific sea otters.

What? Sea otters playing football? Yep, and they play au naturel, without helmets or padding.

On Sunday, you can go to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach to watch the second annual Otter Bowl. Like the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet, it’s held on the same day as Super Bowl 50.


Maggie, a talented sea otter, sharpens her cup-stacking skills. 

Think otters aren’t smart enough to make the right moves? Watch Maggie in this video performing some tricky tricks.

Otter Bowl kickoff is at 4 p.m., a daily feeding time for the mammals, so the team should be drooling with anticipation. (The Super Bowl kicks off at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.)

Both bowls — human and otter — choose an MVP, but several things distinguish the Otter Bowl from the Super Bowl:

* Players are furry and play as one team. (Otters are related to weasels and badgers, so the aquarium doesn’t encourage them to get aggressive over a toy).

* Several balls are used, including footballs made out of clams.

* An aquarium educator calls the play-by-play.

* Before or after the otters race to the end zone, you can check out more than 11,000 animals at the aquarium.

And you can always tape Lady Gaga, Coldplay and Super Bowl 50 to watch later.

The aquarium is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The Otter Bowl will be played between 4 and 5 p.m. in the Northern Pacific Gallery. (The otters will be off exhibit from 3:30 to 4 p.m. as staff readies the “field.”)

General adult admission costs $29.95, with discounts for seniors and children. After 3 p.m. Sunday, admission will be reduced to $14.95 for all ages.

Insider tip: Go early. Last year, about 200 visitors came just to see the inaugural Otter Bowl.

Info: Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach; (562) 590-3100.


From $5 beer to $35,000 Champagne, here are the best places in Las Vegas to watch Super Bowl 50

Want to bring a dog or cat on your next Amtrak ride? Now you can, on most routes

Massive Lego garden sculptures are coming (and you don’t have to go to Legoland to see them)

Valentine’s Day: 100 most romantic restaurants in America, including 15 in California and 4 in Las Vegas