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Subject: Cartoon Network's "Big Game"

Written By: mach!ne_he@d on 09/04/15 at 5:16 pm

Though this technically started in the late '90s, I've always seen it as more of an "early '00s" thing, so I posted here.

Does anyone here remember the annual event from Cartoon Network that aired every January, during the NFL playoffs, in which classic cartoon characters were pitted against each other in a Super Bowl parody called "The Big Game"? I was a huge sports fan growing up, and so I instantly loved this event, and used to look forward to watching it every year until they abruptly ended it in 2002. Looking back on it now, everything surrounding the program was very well done (including getting Pat Summerall and John Madden to do commentary), and it really serves as a great illustration as to what made Cartoon Network as a whole so outstanding around the turn of the millennium. Here's a recap of the four Big Games that aired from 1998 until 2001.

1998 - The Big Game XXVI: Tom vs. Jerry

Sadly, there appears to be no video of this available on YouTube, so you'll just have to take my word for it. The production values on this one were nothing compared to what we'd get in later years, as I suppose the concept hadn't been fully fleshed out yet. Looks like Jerry defeated Tom 46-35 based off the single post I could find about this anywhere on the internet.

1999 - The Big Game XXVII: Sylvester vs. Tweety

Okay, this is when things really started picking up. Just to give the whole thing a more "authentic" feel, CN added a pregame show to the whole affair, borrowing HBO's "Inside the NFL" team to do the honors. They also added parodies of the slick intros and graphics that TV networks use for the sports coverage. The game itself wasn't very competitive, as Tweety crushed Sylvester (with a little help from Granny) by a score of 57-3.

2000 - The Big Game XXVIII: Road Runner vs. Coyote

Now this is when things reached their peak. By January 2000, "The Big Game" had really become an event unto itself that kids looked forward to every year, and I guess CN decided to really go all out and run with it. In addition to the pregame show, which they expanded to three hours, the '00 Big Game added a halftime show, and even parodies of the over the top Super Bowl commercials that had become such a big deal by that point. The game was another blowout, with Road Runner destroying Coyote 59 to (negative!)12, but the whole four hour extravaganza was nothing short of awesome, and shows why the year 2000 was really the absolute zenith of Cartoon Network as a whole.

That was the fake documentary showing the "history" of The Big Game that aired during the pregame show. The amount of work put into this was just staggering.

There's the rest of the game, including the much hyped Spacely Sprockets Halftime Show that never was.

2001 - The Big Game XXIX: Bugs vs. Daffy

Though it would sadly prove to be the last Big Game, 2001 might just be the most memorable. Despite the history of the underdog always getting crushed, Daffy actually hung around long enough to shock the world by upsetting overwhelming favorite Bugs 37-31. The game itself featured all the bells and whistles of previous years, including the lengthy pregame show, but things were toned down a bit from 2000. I remember eagerly waiting in January 2002 for The Big Game XXX, and being very disappointed when it never wound up happening. Sadly, even after fourteen years, they still haven't revived the idea yet.

Subject: Re: Cartoon Network's "Big Game"

Written By: mqg96 on 09/04/15 at 6:11 pm

I'm a big huge fan of college football and the NFL, so I know I would have LOVED this as a kid, however, I didn't start watching Cartoon Network regularly until around 2001, and by then all the big games had already happened, so unfortunately I missed out on all of them :( and it's ashamed that there was no 2002 one for me to experience. These would have been fun marathons to watch though as a big fan of Looney Tunes, I mean seriously is there anything else you can say about early 2000's Cartoon Network? No it wasn't just about the Cartoon Cartoons all the time, they even set up events with classic cartoon characters and did specials with them so the network could appeal to all ages and not just kids. Not to mention all the variety of WB acquisitions and Japanese anime the network aired at the time. Now here's some of my most memorable events that I do remember seeing. I remember promos for these but I didn't tune into it though. The 1st 13th Annual Awards of 2002 is what it was called.





Now this event was one of the biggest highlights of my childhood, and I did tune in to this from start to finish. The Cartoon Cartoon Weekend Summerfest of 2002, which lasted from Friday to Sunday, and this occurred around the time I had just started 1st grade. It featured endless marathons of Cartoon Cartoons all weekend long. I remember it being so epic and relaxing when this happened.

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Subject: Re: Cartoon Network's "Big Game"

Written By: Baltimoreian on 09/06/15 at 10:02 pm

I haven't really watched Cartoon Network until early 2005, so I pretty much missed out on all of their stuff in the early 2000s. But who seems to care if you're a 1999 baby? My earliest memories from CN were from the City era, and I just loved them very much. Same with Nickelodeon in the mid-late 2000s before they changed their logo.

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