Introducing the starting lineup of this year’s Puppy Bowl through the music of Super Bowl LVIII’s real MVP, Taylor Swift.
BY SEAN ZUCKER
FEBRUARY 7, 2024
Forget The Masters, the Puppy Bowl is truly a tradition unlike any other (if you didn’t get the golf reference, it’s fine, and we can move on). Operating as counterprogramming to the Super Bowl, the Puppy Bowl features a collection of shelter pups cuddling it out to raise awareness of animal adoption and help find them homes.
This year will see the 20th presentation of the game on Animal Planet and includes a record-breaking 131 puppies from 73 rescue organizations. Unlike its NFL counterpart, which will end with either the San Francisco 49ers or Kansas City Chiefs (and countless Swifties as a result) feeling devastated, there are no real losers in the Puppy Bowl due to its 100 percent adoption rate.
But there is still one throughline between the respective battles for the Lombardi and “Lombarky” trophies: the knowledge that the true star of the weekend this year is Taylor Swift. If you’re unconvinced of the connection, longtime Puppy Bowl referee Dan Schachner will be officiating his 13th game — Tay’s favorite number, of course.
Despite performing at the Tokyo Dome in Japan each of the three nights prior, all signs point to Swift making an appearance at Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas to support her boyfriend, Travis Kelce. Sure, that’s traditionally a 12-hour flight, but think of this as her opportunity to live out the plot of Trains, Planes, and Automobiles. (Only Taylor’s version would more accurately be titled Private Planes and Advanced Security Clearances.)
So, while that timeline rules out the pop icon from dropping in on the Puppy Bowl, especially considering that it’s prerecorded (sorry!), her presence will still be felt, if we have anything to say about it. Below, 11 pups from Team Ruff and 11 from Team Fluff — starting lineups, if you will — introduced through the music of Taylor Swift.
Lucky Dog Refuge (Stamford, CT) — “The Last Great American Dynasty”
Judging by the spelling, I’m going to assume this pup was also inspired by the life of American socialite Rebekah Harkness, who is the subject of the above folklore song and whose former residence Swift has owned since 2013. Look for this Rebekah to ride up “the afternoon train” into the end zone this weekend.