By Parker Gainsburg, Maxwell Elam and Dylan Bosse
FEB 16, 2017
On Sunday at 3 PM EST, prior to Super Bowl LI, Puppy Bowl XIII aired on Animal Planet. For the past 13 years, the Puppy Bowl has been promoted as a cute, comedic spinoff of the annual American football tradition. Once again, Team Ruff squared off against Team Fluff in the cutest game on earth. Having won the past two years, Team Ruff was aiming to gain their third consecutive win. However, Team Ruff didn’t stand a chance as Team Fluff dominated with a 93-38 victory and took home the Lombarky Trophy.
This year’s Puppy Bowl was special in that, for the first time, the game featured three physically-challenged dogs. According to Animal Planet, the competition included a three-legged dog named Lucky, who is a 16-week-old terrier mix from Operation Education Rescue in Tennessee. The event also featured Winston, an Australian shepherd, from Double J Dog Ranch in Oregon, who is visually and hearing impaired. Doobert, a deaf 15-week-old English pointer from Green Dogs Unleashed in Virginia played in the game as well.
Awards were presented to some of the pups for their outstanding performance and efforts. Despite her disability, Lucky managed to take home the Underdog Award. Rory, a 17-week-old poodle mix from Florida Little Dog Rescue, won the MVP Award.
In 2005, the Puppy Bowl was established to encourage viewers to adopt shelter dogs. Each one of these playful participants was available for adoption once the game ended. Along with these puppies, a group of shelter kittens were available for adoption, after they performed in the halftime show. During the thirty-minute event, the furry felines took the field in a game that involved laser pens, lights, balls of yarn, and scratching posts.
This Super Bowl spoof generates a great deal of excitement for animal lovers across America and has increased in popularity each year. According to Tony Maglio, a reporter from The Wrap, the Puppy Bowl managed to pull 2.5 million viewers this year. With its constant growth in viewership, it’s quite “paws”ible that this annual tradition will carry on for many more years, bringing an overload of cuteness into homes across America.