Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Toon "Sports" (?): Remember The Big Game? (1998)

For four years, before they started going totally cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, the geniuses at Cartoon Network decided to tweak a certain winter tradition by packaging together a series of classic shorts under the title, The Big Game. All it really was, quite frankly, was a means of counter-programming the Super Bowl, which is now played in February for ratings reasons after being a January tradition from the beginning.

The first installment, predictably, showcased Tom & Jerry, with commentary by Fox announcers Pat Summerall & John Madden. After that, CN turned to corporate siblings HBO and Turner Sports for the remaining three installments. There wasn't a real game being played, and if you didn't figure that out during the length of the broadcast, you must've been living under a rock or not watching at all.

Anyway, from 2000, here's The Big Game: Road Runner vs. Wile E. Coyote, hosted by the crew from Inside The NFL, which, oh, by the way, now airs on Showtime and NFL Network.

It got to the point where CN created an ersatz pre-game and halftime show, using various characters under Time Warner control. Apparently, the first Big Game brought in big ratings. So why did they stop after 4 years? There was only so much they could do without resorting to reruns (rematches). Like, I think they finished with Popeye vs. Bluto in 2001. They never got around to doing Bugs Bunny vs. Daffy Duck or either Elmer Fudd or Marvin the Martian.

I wasn't really that big on this convoluted excuse for a marathon. Unfortunately, CN has gotten worse since, although product quality has improved in recent years, with certain exceptions (and you know what I'm talking about).

Rating for The Big Game: C.

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