Team Ruff, the underdogs, claimed the coveted Lombarky Trophy in the 2021 Puppy Bowl. Opponents Team Fluff, after consecutive victories, had a rough game.
The 17th annual matchup was between adoptable pups and dogs was a nail biter. In this year’s “cutest game ever played",seventy pooches from 22 different shelters competed paw-by-paw. Dogs were split up into two different teams and participated in a canine-sized football stadium. The event featured a halftime show, a national anthem performance, play-by-play commentary and a "rufferee". Reffed by longtime “rufferee” Dan Schachner, the riveting rumble kicked off to a wild start by Team Ruff.
Team Ruff’s Archer, an American Staffordshire Terrier, was handed a penalty after he ripped off the goal post of the opposing team. Archer was penalised for “illegal use of the goal posts".Muffin, a terrier mix, scored the first touchdown for Ruff. Hearing-impaired terrier Marshall gave a fierce fight. Marshall was an early contender for Most Valuable Pup and is training to be a support dog for nurses on the front line of the pandemic.
Chow Chow mix Chunky Monkey, on the other hand, was chastised for “excessive slumber” after his nap on the sidelines. Chunk also earned praises for serving up the Most Valuable Mood. Muffin scored another touchdown for Ruff with less than a minute left in the game. The score went up to 66-69 making the game a real paw-biter. Ruff was trailing by three points and the clock was running out. That’s when Ruff's Big Boss Paulie, an American Staffordshire Terrier and Dutch Shepherd mix sprinted for a touchdown.
After back-to-back victories from Team Fluff in years past, Team Ruff barked its way to a memorable win. Team Ruff defeated Team Fluff with a 73-69 final score to win Puppy Bowl XVII. Marshall, the hearing-impaired Boston terrier, snagged the esteemed title of Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the game. SportsCenter host Sage Steele and ESPN play-by-play announcer Steve Levy provided human commentary. Best pals Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart were among the other celebrity animal lovers to join the big matchup as hosts.
According to Animal Planet, every last one of the pups in each Puppy Bowl get picked for adoption by the time the show airs. Also featured during the event, First Lady Jill Biden was accompanied by the two first dogs, Champ and Major, wearing masks. She delivered a public service announcement (PSA) on adopting dogs.German shepherd Major is believed to be the first rescue dog to live at the White House.