The Patriots won the Lombardi trophy once again in what has been dubbed one of the most boring Super Bowl games in history, but the real winners that night were those who decided to skip the 13–3 snooze fest (Seriously, what were they thinking with that half-time show?) and watch Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl XV. That’s right, Team Ruff faced off against Team Fluff once more to determine which team reigns supreme, and unlike the other big game that night, they did not disappoint, and this year’s MVP made a bit of Puppy Bowl history as well.
A total of 93 puppies from 51 animal shelters around the U.S. showed up to participate in the day’s events, including corgis, Chihuahuas, schnauzers, Labs, and many others. The rules of the game are relatively simple: like football, the goal is to carry the object all the way into the opposing team’s end zone (except, instead of carrying footballs, the pups just play with toys, and if they happen to travel into the end zone while carrying one, it counts as a goal). If one of the toys makes it into the end zone after making contact with one of the dogs’ feet, that counts as a field goal. And, of course, referee Dan Schachner is on-hand to officiate the game and break up any ruff-housing.
Coming off of a two-year hot streak, Team Fluff was this year’s favorite, but Team Ruff had no intentions of lying down (and/or rolling over). It was a close, high-scoring shoot-out between Ruff and Fluff, with Emmitt of Team Ruff (a Boykin spaniel/Australian cattle dog mix) setting the tone early on with a pair of touchdowns. Team Fluff fought back, however, and the score continued to climb until it culminated in a Team Ruff victory at 59–51.
But, while Team Ruff got to celebrate with the Lombarky Trophy (a stuffed version of the NFL’s Lombardi Trophy), it was a Lab/chow chow mix named Bumble who scored two field goals and took home the much sought after title of MVP (Most Valuable Puppy). And, as a partially blind and deaf dog, Bumble also made history as the Puppy Bowl’s first special needs pup to become MVP!
In addition to the pups, there was the Kitty Halftime Show, featuring Pur-oon 5 performing their classic hit “Meows Like Jagger,” which was objectively more entertaining than the NFL version. But even if kittens aren’t your thing, the halftime show was still a cuteness overload with baby sloths, baby porcupines, and even joeys (also known as baby kangaroos).
But, as is the case with every Puppy Bowl, the real winners of the night were all of the puppy and kitten participants, with each one finding a forever home after the big game.