In this day and age the world is often painted as a dark and terrible place. The Chiefs barely miss out on playing in the Super Bowl and Tom Brady has more rings than he can fit on one hand. But while Feb. 2 saw many a football fan yawning as they were watching the lowest-scoring Super Bowl of all time, the date did have one glimmering ray of sunshine – the 15th annual Puppy Bowl.
A fluffier alternative to the Super Bowl, the Puppy Bowl features teams of puppies pitted against each other in a furocious interpretation of American football. This year, 93 players participated on Teams Ruff and Fluff.
As per the rules, a pup scores a goal by dragging a chew toy to either end zone. The actual Super Bowl was slow compared to the Puppy Bowl’s comebacks, last-minute field goals and penalties for unnecessary ruffness, drooling and napping.
This year’s competitors came from shelters across the continental United States, plus Costa Rica and Puerto Rico. Two of these are entitled “Planned Pethood” and the forthright “Big Fluffy Dogs.”
While all of the puppies are adoptable, most find their furever homes before the event airs. The Animal Planet show doubles as objectively the cutest sporting ever and an opportunity to raise awareness for the thousands of remaining animals stuck in shelters.
“Since the Puppy Bowl launched, the event has helped more than 500 dogs find their forever homes,” according to Mentalfloss.
Animal Planet also hosted their second Dog Bowl this year, which features a collarful competition from older dogs who are less likely to get adopted. Both events highlighted disabled pets, including hearing impaired Bumble, who was named MVP after Team Fluff’s big win.
The Puppy Bowl was not limited to a single species. Shirley the sloth served as sideline assistant to the only primate on the field –Rufferee Dan Schachner. Every good football game needs a team of cheerleaders, and the baby kangaroo squad made the Puppy Bowl no exception.
The legendary kitty halftime show rivaled the actual Super Bowl’s. The Acrocats included a skateboarding feline with skills rivaling that of college first-years, while “Purr-oon five with Adam Feline” gave a hisstorical meowsical performance.
For those who prefer elite cat-letes over slobbering dogs, Hallmark featured its sixth Kitten Bowl in which the Longtails beating the Bengals 35-32.
Though pet ownership on campus is not highly recommended, keep local shelters like KC Pet Project in mind the next time you’re in search of a furry friend.
Next February, why watch big sweaty dudes tackle each other when you could get an eyeful of some fluffers in need of homes? The 20th annual Puppy Bowl will air on Animal Planet the same day as Super Bowl LIV.