71 puppies kickoff in annual Puppy Bowl XVI with new COVID-19 procedures


Courtesy USA Today

Go Fetch — Team Ruff’s Big Boss Paulie (left) faces off with an opponent from Team Fluff (right). Paulie was able to score a last minute touchdown to bring home the Puppy Bowl XVI victory.

Axl Blumes, Staff Writer

The Puppy Bowl is an annual treat every February, a few hours before the Super Bowl. This year 70 puppies were up for adoption. Dogs come to the Puppy Bowl from all different states and rescue facility. This year, 20 dogs are coming from Connecticut from nine different shelters.

The purpose of the Puppy Bowl is to encourage adoptions of the dogs. Since the first Puppy Bowl in 2005, 100 percent of the dogs in the game were adopted and found a forever home.

This year’s game is still in New York, but has been moved to a larger arena in Glen Falls so people can stay six-feet apart. Due to COVID-19 protocols, the dogs selected for the Puppy Bowl also have to be within driving range of the competition.

The two teams competing in the competition were Team Ruff and Team Fluff. The Puppy Bowl is not filmed live; it is filmed a few months prior to the event so that they can merge all the clips together and find the highlights. Since the arena was moved into a hockey rink due to COVID-19, the puppies had a bigger field and more space to run around and score points. The two teams are competing for the coveted Chewy Lombarky Trophy which is a play on words from the Super Bowl’s Lombardi trophy.

Last year’s champions Team Fluff defeated Team Ruff in a close game that was 63-59. This year, Team Ruff came back in a last-minute victory, finalizing the score at 73-69. With under a minute left and trailing by three points, Team Ruff ’s Big Boss Paulie (American Staffordshire Terrier and Dutch Shepherd mix) scored to bring his team victory.