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.
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.
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.