Some athletes are just born with that coveted it factor, the ability to turn it up when the games matter most. Tom Brady. Joe Montana. Johnny Unitas. Players like these come around one a generation, and when they do you can't help but sit back and watch in awe as they leave their paw prints everywhere on the field.
It's time to add another star to that list, Star the puppy that is, a beast of a back finally living up to her lofty name.
Star, a 20-week-old Chow Chow/Labrador mix, was named the MVP of Puppy Bowl XII after leading Team Ruff to an impressive 70-44 victory over Team Fluff. She earned the honor after scoring three touchdowns and registering one takeaway in the win.
But no play will be more memorable than her double-touchdown midway through the second quarter, a pair of scores that put the game away, made the chicken cheerleaders go crazy and that will no doubt be remembered for years to come. After all, it was the first double touchdown in Puppy Bowl history.
The scores capped off a 28-3 first half run for Team Ruff, one which Team Fluff was never able to come back from.
Of course, the game was not without controversy. Moments before Star's double-touchdown, officials discovered a deflated ball being used in Team Ruff's huddle.
However, with Ted Wells currently in the Bahamas sipping mojitos on the NFL's dime, the league was unable to get to the bottom of the scandal and play continued.
Team Ruff came out confident ...
... and was able to back up its swagger.
First it was Darby who led the charge.
But not without getting some helpful blocks along the way.
Then in the second quarter Team Ruff inserted Star into the game, and Team Fluff had no response. At one point a member of Team Fluff even lost control of her bowels, no doubt due to Star's dominant performance.
Team Fluff was outcoached and outexecuted. They also, understandably, had no trust in the game's referees, likely because nothing was done about Team Ruff's use of a deflated ball.
In the third quarter, Leah did her best to lead Team Fluff back. She scored two touchdowns and made her presence felt all over the field.
But Timber, who was handed handed the reigns by Star, was just too much for Team Fluff to handle. His explosive play pushed Team Ruff's lead to 63-30 entering the fourth quarter.
That, it turned put, was too big a deficit for Team Fluff to come back from.
In order to fill out the Puppy Bowl roster Animal Planet partnered with 44 animal shelters and rescue organizations from across the country. Rescue groups for this year's participants span 25 states. Animal Planet's year-wide effort to promote pet adoption has led to more than 3,000 animals finding new homes. The network also partnered with the Pro Football Hall of Fame to honor legendary puppy players and bolster interest in adoption of older animals.