This year’s Puppy Bowl, an annual Animal Planet program that mirrors the Super Bowl using puppies in a canine-sized football stadium, was aired on February 7. The 2021 contest between Team Ruff and Team Fluff featured 70 puppies from 22 different shelters across the country and concluded in dramatic fashion. When it was all said and done, Team Ruff prevailed in Puppy Bowl XVII with a 73-69 victory.
Not only did Marshall, a Boston terrier who lives in Salem, participate in the event, he also took home game MVP honors after scoring two touchdowns for his team.
“SportsCenter” host Sage Steele and ESPN play-by-play announcer Steve Levy provided human commentary, while hip hop musician Snoop Dogg and businesswoman Martha Stewart were the event’s hosts. Actor Dan Schachner served as the contest’s “rufferee.” The event also featured a halftime show and a national anthem performance.
Said Steele in the opening minutes, “textbook leverage by Muffin against Marshall as she gets low and digs in. What a spin move, but Marshall is just as tenacious. The first touchdown of the game is scored by Muffin.”
Added Levy, “it’s a battle of terriers in the trenches. Marshall is pulling wicked high. Muffin gets control, but Marshall does not give up. We have a legit grudge match here. A statement is being made early.”
An estimated one million people nationwide watched the contest live. Marshall’s parents, Chris and Christina Lee, are founders of the nonprofit Deaf Dogs Rock in Salem.