Team Fluff overcomes Team Ruff

With a “ruff” score of 63-59, Team Fluff wins the 2020 Puppy Bowl

The “good boys” (and girls) had finally arrived to the stadium. Chew ropes and squeaky toys were strewn across the tiny turf football field.

 Puppies, kittens, goats and even armadillos lined up for one of the most anticipated TV events every February – no, not the Super Bowl, the Puppy Bowl.

Animal Planet has produced yet again an adorable competition for all audiences to enjoy. In the beginning of the program, the 2020 Puppy Bowl introduces the contenders of the two teams with rhyming introductions like “The powerhouse pup who always steps up, here to mingle with her face full of wrinkles – it’s Betty!” The two teams, Team Ruff (the red team) and Team Fluff (the blue team) hit the field with plenty of rough play and kisses to start off. After every commercial break, each team introduces its new starting lineup. 

In order to lighten the feisty mood of the rough-and-tumble puppy play on the field, water bowl spills and whatever else happening on the field, the narrator voices out cute puns for each action and puppy that comes to eye-view. 

A kiss cam zoomed in close to puppies who were sharing a smooch on the field.

The teams diversified in breeds all across the board. Big or small, the puppies were welcomed to the field. For Team Fluff, breeds ranged from an Australian cattle dog-Labrador retriever, to a German shepherd-Samoyed mix, and even a Pomeranian-Siberian husky mix. 

A fan favorite for Team Fluff was a stubby puppy named Rummy, a shaggy Chihuahua-Boston terrier mix whose favorite tactic on the field is rolling over the ball before scoring. 

For Team Ruff, the contenders ranged from a German shepherd, to a American Staffordshire terrier, and even a Labrador retriever-chow chow mix. 

The fan favorite for the team was Huck, a miniature poodle-Shih Tzu, whose smile is accentuated by his floppy pink tongue. 

Regardless if they were short-haired, long-haired, lazy or active- each puppy never failed to bring a smile to a viewers face. 

Each puppy has their DNA stats pulled up on the screen during different points within the game. Through Wisdom Panel DNA, their mutt makeup is broken down into different breed percentages as well as their weight and height. 

Most of the puppies who participated in the Puppy Bowl came from different rescues within the United States, some travel from various locations across the world such as Colombia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The narrator delves into the backstory of each pup during “Pup Close and Personal” segments. 

Rummy, a 20 week old Chihuahua-Boston terrier mix who is reported as an original “Love Island” contestant, flew across the ocean from the U.S. Virgin Islands to start a new journey in his young life. His foster parents, owners of a horse farm along the beach, use the proceeds from their horse tours to help stray pups in the area to find their forever homes on the beautiful island and beyond. To date, Rummy’s foster parents and fellow coworkers have helped 700 to 800 puppies find their home. Another way puppies may find their home is that at the end of each trip, horseback riders have the lovely chance to adopt a puppy. 

This year’s Puppy Bowl was especially unique because it featured five puppies with special needs who competed alongside other canine counterparts. 

Filbert, an all-white Australian shepherd puppy who is blind, comes from Double J Dog Ranch in Ohio where he was trained with special skills to help him navigate the world. His blindness didn’t slow him down at all on the field, where he galloped around and played with toys alongside his puppy pals, scoring a couple of goals for his team.

After many “Pup Close and Personal” segments, the half-time show finally began. The “performance” featured Jennipurr Lopez and Catira, complete with sparkly outfits and wigs, who took to the stage surrounded by other feline friends. 

The two cats took a rather relaxed take for their performance by laying on the stage, gazing at their rather naked feline audience before them. 

Although it wasn’t the standard display of athleticism that most audiences gather to watch on Super Bowl Sunday, the 2020 Puppy Bowl was a light-hearted alternative to those who wanted to find someone to cheer on and root for. And who doesn’t like watching dozens of cute puppies run around?

~Ashley McMillan, A&E Editor~

~Anna Dorl, Lifestyle Editor~

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