A Recap Of Puppy Bowl XII

A Recap Of Puppy Bowl XII

Puppies, and kitties, and chickens - oh my!
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It only happens once a year. The best of the best battle it out in a stadium. Only one team can emerge victorious. People from across the world sit on the edge of their seats watching, waiting…to see who wins the Puppy Bowl!! Team Ruff versus Team Fluff.

OK, that might have been a little bit overdramatic, but for my family, the Puppy Bowl is one of the biggest events of the year. I was surprised to discover that the Puppy Bowl isn’t a big deal to many people, some of whom have never heard of it. A mere 2.2 million people tuned in to Animal Planet at game time (3pm EST), although over the course of the five aired repeats, 9.3 million eventually were graced by presence of playful puppies. That might seem like a lot, but in comparison to the 111.9 million Super Bowl viewers, these puppies are practically abandoned!

Sure enough, that’s just what the Puppy Bowl is about. Yea, it’s great to watch puppies romp around and play and drink water above the water bowl cam, but more importantly, Puppy Bowl raises awareness for pet adoption and every puppy in the game finds a home. There’s also a Kitten Bowl on Hallmark Channel, but that’s just a copycat as far as I’m concerned.

Without further ado, I present a recap of this year’s Puppy Bowl, so that for those unfortunate enough to miss it, you may watch vicariously through this article, and perhaps be inspired to watch next year’s Puppy Bowl XIII (A sidenote: the Puppy Bowl decided to stick with roman numerals, unlike the Super Bowl–– an admirable choice in my book).

This year’s Puppy Bowl brought a whole host of newness. First, the goat cheerleaders from last year were replaced with chickens. They also replaced the hamsters piloting the Goodyear blimp with a hamster flying a biplane. As you can see, the puppy bowl doesn’t discriminate by species. We’ll get to the puppies later, but the other animals participating were fan favorite Meep the bird who live-tweeted the event, another hamster who powered the scoreboard (how energy conscious), and a skybox of cats replaced last year’s tailgate of dogs. Lastly, they invited Stanley the skunk to be backup rufferee (no I didn’t spell referee wrong, get it? RUFFeree).

On that note, the rufferee by far has the best job in the world, getting to be up close and personal with celebrity puppy athletes. In a GEICO ad during the show, the rufferee explained his job description: “rubbing puppy bellies is what you do." On that note, this year’s Puppy Bowl was more commercialized than ever, with advertisements plastered around the stadium, endorsements left and right, and product placement out the wazoo! Corporate sponsors included Bissell (to clean up puppy messes), GEICO, Pedigree, Twizzler, DQ and Subaru (if you haven’t seen the Subaru commercials with the dog family, look them up. You will not be disappointed).

Speaking of not being disappointed, this year’s Puppy Bowl had so much action! Here’s my summary: Team Ruff got off to a quick start with two touchdowns by Darby in the first quarter. Team Fluff’s Boris responded with a touchdown of his own. At this point, we took a break to go “Pup Close and Personal” with Sailor, a valiant competitor in the game this year. It was in his blood to be a swimming dog, but he was afraid of water, and fell behind his brothers and sisters. Nevertheless, his bravery prevailed, and now he is an avid swimmer. He’s ok at football. Inspired by this story, Miss Sassy scored a second touchdown for team Fluff to tie the game. Then, we took another timeout because one of the puppies peed. It’s ok though, because a Bissell spot cleaner cleaned it right up. As if nothing had happened, Miss Sassy continued her streak, racing towards the endzone, just to be cut off by the first quarter whistle.

By this point in the game, Animal Planet has made their message clear. The puppies we’re watching all “represent animals in shelters across the country who need forever homes." For those families willing to open up their hearts and homes, they should go to www.animalplanet.com/adopt.

The puppy bowl has a large following online, as it is intertwined with many forms of social media, including Instagram and Twitter. Many people took to twitter after the second “Pup Close and Personal” to inspire the sheepish puppy Posey to take the field.

Posey had a rough childhood, forced into her gender role of being the shy girl among her aggressive and playful brothers who excluded her from roughhousing. Eventally, she forced her way into the fun.

Kicking off the second quarter, Star scores a touchdown for team Ruff, putting the score at 21 Ruff- 14 Fluff. This was followed by Timber scoring a touchdown for team Ruff, and Atticus scoring a field goal for team Fluff, to make our new score 28-17.

The game is going swimmingly until all of a sudden the rufferee noticed that the game ball was slightly deflated, definitely below the acceptable size according to the official rules. Deflategate has scandalized the Puppy Bowl too!!

Once an appropriately inflated ball was found, Star hesitated a little in scoring the first ever double touchdown in Puppy Bowl history! Star raced into one endzone, then turned around and raced right into the other, never touched by the opposition. This gave team Ruff a commanding lead of 42-17

Our third "Pup Close and Personal" took us into the life of Wrinkles.

Like far too many puppies, including my own puppy CoCo, Wrinkles was abandoned on the side of a road. Fortunately, after being found and saved from the Florida heat, he now lives a lackadaisical lifestyle in his forever home.

Returning to the action, Countess scored a field goal for team Fluff, bringing the score to 42-20. Timber from team Ruff countered with a quick touchdown to make our halftime score 49-20.

The kitty halftime show presented a theme of attack of the cutest kittens on San Francisco, host city to Super Bowl 50. The only way to save the city is to adopt the cats! This show was a little lackluster in comparison to last year’s appearance by Keyboard Cat, but was chock full of meaning.

Moving on, the fourth “Pup Close and Personal” featured Stella, who taught us that friendship transcends all barriers by her heartwarming story of becoming best friends with a hedgehog.

Recognizing team Fluff’s urgency, Timon scored a touchdown bringing the score to 49-27. However, celebrating was short-lived because the world’s slowest streaker, a tortoise, took to the field!

Cover your eyes! Timon then took advantage of everyone’s shock to score a field goal for team Fluff, bringing the score to 49-30. Team Ruff was not having this comeback, so Leah scored two touchdowns in a row, so that the score was a lopsided 63-30.

We took a quick break from the action so that Bruce Smith, former defensive end for the Buffalo Bills and the Washington Redskins, and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, could introduce the inaugural class for the Puppy Bowl Hall of Fame. The message to be had here is that it isn’t all about puppies. People should adopt older dogs too! They have their own benefits such as being calmer or better trained.

Cooper then scored a touchdown for team Fluff bringing the score to 63-37.

Our fifth "Pup Close and Personal" gave us insight into the life of Roxy, who similarly to Wrinkles was also abandoned, and similarly to Stella has an interspecies friendship with a cat named Oscar.

Team Fluff continued their efforts with a touchdown from Cooper bringing the score to 63-44.

Our sixth and final "Pup Close and Personal" dissected rough competitor Hank, whose aggression can be traced back to his wee days as he has always been big for his age. Not that size is any excuse, he still got a warning from the rufferee.

To reach our final score, Leah scored her third touchdown of the day for team Ruff, bringing the final score to 70-44. Despite this effort, Star was voted MVP, largely due in part to her record-setting double touchdown that really swung the momentum towards team Ruff. Team Fluff just could not recover.

There you have it, team Ruff was the winner! However, the real winners are the puppies that get adopted!

Tune in for puppy bowl XIII next year. You might think I’m ridiculous for being such a fan, and perhaps I am a little bit, but you will not be disappointed.

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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The Boston Red Sox Deserve The 2018 World Series Title

It's the ending Red Sox Nation needs.

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Ah the 2018 Boston Red Sox, where do I begin??

Since I was little, I have always been a Red Sox fan. I vividly remember being in my living room watching the intense 2004 American League Championship Series and then the World Series where Boston finally became champions, reversing the 86 year long "Curse of the Bambino." Ever since I've been a devoted fan and you wouldn't catch me dead in those dreadful New York Yankee pinstripes.

The 2018 season for the Red Sox has been wild, they don't lose. With 108 wins in the regular season, the Red Sox set a new franchise record and were the first MLB team to get 100 wins in the 2018 season. With a stacked lineup of great fielding and bats that hit like crazy, it seems the Red Sox are set to take home their 9th World Series title this week.

In the American League Division Series, the Red Sox played the Yankees and defeated them quickly 3-1. The Red Sox racked up 16 runs in game 3, where Brock Holt also hit for the cycle to add to a rough loss for the Yankees. In the ALCS, the Red Sox showed they could hold their own against the defending world champs, the Houston Astros. In game 3, Jackie Bradley Jr. made Astros fans nervous when he hit a grand slam with 2 outs, therefore winning the game 8-2. Then in game 4, Andrew Benintendi made a game-ending diving catch to make sure the Red Sox stayed ahead in the series, making all of Red Sox Nation "win, dance, repeat."

No matter what happens in the World Series, I'll always be a loyal Red Sox fan. This is post-season baseball at it's finest. Plus, it's never a bad season when you defeat the Yankees, just saying.

The 2018 World Series begins against the Dodgers Tuesday, October 23 on Fox.

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