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Celebrating the Iowa Athlete Who Won Big Yesterday

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PUPPY POWER.

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No, not Marshal Yanda or Sean Considine, two great former Hawkeyes who earned Super Bowl rings last night. That was indeed "fucking awesome," as Joe Flacco might say, and all kudos to Yanda and Considine for reaching the top of the mountain in football, but it's not what we want to call your attention to today. No, we want to pay homage to Iowa's greatest competitor yesterday, the mighty Marta!

Sorry, that would be Puppy Bowl MVP Marta.

This year's Puppy Bowl Bissell "Most Valuable Puppy" prize goes to the most courageous pooch on the field: Marta, a Schnauzer/Beagle mix, from the adoption organization AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport of De Soto. She out-hustled and out-muscled dogs twice her size to take the MVP title.

Out-hustled and out-muscled dogs twice her size? Well, that sounds like the sort of overachieving moxie we like to see in our athletes around these parts. She was no 5* wonder-pup from the elite breeding services. Why, I'll bet the dog-recruiting services didn't even have a file on her. She was probably destined to toil away in obscurity in some small hamlet in Ohio or maybe Michigan, surrounded by other under-sized, under-appreciated canines. But her inglorious recruiting history is not the extent of her quintessential Iowa-ness:

"Marta's tiny, but she's not delicate, and she is deceptively athletic, which kind of tricked the bigger dogs," says Daniel Schachner, who acted as "The Ref" on the field.

"Deceptively athletic," you say? Why, that's music to our cornfed ears! Just tell us that she was the daughter of a famous Puppy Bowl coach or about her keen puppy football instincts or her nose for the game and we'll be putty in your hands. Kirk Ferentz is already trying to find room for her in his recruiting class.

(H/T to the mothership, who also brings word of Marta's Puppy Bowl love connection.)