Northwest Horizons

Dogs play hard at annual “Puppy Bowl”

The Puppy Bowl has provided humans with adorable entertainment, and puppies with permanent homes for fourteen years. This year's show was held Sunday, February 4 on Animal Planet.

The Puppy Bowl has provided humans with adorable entertainment, and puppies with permanent homes for fourteen years. This year's show was held Sunday, February 4 on Animal Planet.

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It’s Super Bowl Sunday. Fans of all ages eagerly anticipate the kickoff of the big game.

However, this is no Super Bowl, and these are no ordinary athletes competing. This is the Puppy Bowl. An annual competition pitting man’s best friend against each other in one of the cutest sporting events of the year.

The Puppy Bowl is a show that airs annually on Animal Planet a few hours before the Super Bowl begins. It features two teams of puppies playing a mock football game in which toys are scattered around a floor made to look like a small football field. This year’s competition was the 14th iteration of the game.

If a dog picks up a toy and carries it across the end zone, touchdown! Seven points are given to the team whose color is represented by the bandanna around the scoring dog’s neck. If a dog kicks or throws a toy into the end zone, three points are awarded as if it were a field goal.

The dogs competing were taken from 25 U.S states and territories, many of which were ravaged by hurricanes in 2017. All of the dogs are available for adoption at the end of the game. Animal Planet boasts they have a 100-percent adoption rate, with all 90 competing dogs being adopted out.

This year’s Puppy Bowl once again pitted Team Fluff against Team Ruff in an intense competition. The game was a fierce back and forth, with a total of nine lead changes throughout, a record in Puppy Bowl history.

Team Ruff took an early lead thanks to two consecutive touchdowns from Jennifer Pawrence, (J-paw for short,) but this was quickly surmounted by Team Fluff, when their star player Bear took the field, scoring two touchdowns for his team, and eventually winning the MVP award.

The game wasn’t totally clean, though. The referee sloth took to the field and attempted to score a touchdown of her own, but this was waived by the other referee, Dan Schachner, on the grounds that only dogs may play in the game.

Additionally, Team Ruff player Mr. Wigglesworth incurred a penalty for excessive napping. In spite of this penalty, Wigglesworth went on to receive the underdog of the game award.

With 30 seconds left on the clock and Team Ruff leading 47-45, Team Fluff needed to make a big play if they wanted to win. That’s when the chihuahua chow-chow mix Kaleb Junior saw his opportunity, and ran for a touchdown, bringing the game to a close, and a 52-45 win for Team Fluff.

With this final touchdown, Team Fluff secured their second win in a row of the game, winning last year’s competition in a 93-38 blowout.

Outside of the game itself, the Puppy Bowl is meant to be a display of cuteness, and a chance for dogs to find loving families. In that sense, it certainly succeeded this year, and will hopefully do so in years to come.

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Dogs play hard at annual “Puppy Bowl”