Puppy Bowl gives rescue pups a time to shine

The Puppy Bowl airs on Sunday, February 4 at 3 p.m. before the Super Bowl later that night, featuring the battle between Team Ruff and Team Fluff. (Movies in LA/Flickr Creative Commons)

The Puppy Bowl airs on Sunday, February 4 at 3 p.m. before the Super Bowl later that night, featuring the battle between Team Ruff and Team Fluff. (Movies in LA/Flickr Creative Commons)

While Super Bowl Sunday means football, wings, commercials and halftime performances for many people across the country, it also marks one of the most important events for dog lovers everywhere — the Puppy Bowl. Animal Planet will show Puppy Bowl XIV on Feb. 4 at 3 p.m., acting as a great prelude to the Super Bowl later that night.

This year we will see the return of Team Ruff and Team Fluff, who will face off in the newly constructed Geico Stadium. The rules of the game are simple. The pups must carry a toy across the goal line, scoring a point for their team. The puppy that scores the most points will win the title of MVP, which of course stands for Most Valuable Puppy. The points do not really mean anything, and the puppies have absolutely no idea what they are supposed to be doing, but this doesn’t make the Puppy Bowl any less riveting to watch. The cute animals that will be featured in the event don’t just stop at puppies; the game will also feature a sloth assistant referee and kitty halftime performers. If that is not enough cuteness to spark your interest, this year’s Puppy Bowl will also include an assortment of baby barnyard animal cheerleaders.

Every year, Animal Planet adds more to the Puppy Bowl, and the 14th iteration of this event will be no exception. Fans will see several technological additions, like the use of virtual reality and trading cards. The virtual reality videos will give viewers an opportunity to feel as if they are really there during the puppy “training sessions,” and trading card users will be able to create digital trading cards using their own pets. The social media pages for the event will also feature a wide array of cute videos leading up to the Puppy Bowl, so there will be no shortage of playing puppies.

The Puppy Bowl is not just a microcosm of cuteness; the K9 sporting event is also a great cause. All of the puppies featured during the show are up for adoption. According to Rolling Stone, many of the puppies featured in this year’s Puppy Bowl were rescued from areas affected by recent natural disasters. Many pets were displaced by the barrage of natural disasters that happened in 2017, and shelters are having a hard time dealing with the sheer amount of animals that are now in their care. This year’s Puppy Bowl will not only give these puppies a chance to have fun; they could also get noticed by potential adopters. On a larger scale, the Puppy Bowl helps raise awareness for shelter animals across the country, making the event not only adorable but life-changing for shelter pets everywhere.

Whether you care about the philanthropic side of the Puppy Bowl or just want to watch puppies run around a bone-shaped stadium for two hours, the Puppy Bowl is a great way to kick off your Super Bowl Sunday. Sure, the pups might not be quite as skilled as professional football players — but they are definitely a whole lot cuter.  


Lauren Brown is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at lauren.brown@uconn.edu.