The Big Game XXVI: Tom vs. Jerry (lost Cartoon Network TV special; 1998)
The Big Game XXVI: Tom vs. Jerry was the first in a series of four Super Bowl spoofs that aired yearly on Cartoon Network from 1998-2001. Although the special was numbered as being the twenty-sixth annual of its kind, this was only to give the illusion of it having been a longtime tradition like the event that inspired it.
There would be a “pre-game” marathon of cartoons featuring the characters being pitted against one another, interspersed with tongue-in-cheek studio coverage by Len Dawson, Nick Buoniconti, Cris Collinsworth, and Jerry Glanville.
The “games” themselves, held at Chuck Jones Stadium, consisted of cartoon clips with football sound effects and commentary by Pat Summerall and John Madden. There would even be an ersatz halftime show complete with fake commercials. Each Big Game's results would generally be what one would expect considering the track records of the characters involved (in the first one, Jerry was the winner). However, likely because the producers were conscious of how predictable each previous Big Game had been, the final special had a twist ending where Daffy won because Bugs failed to show up.
The last three Big Game specials (Sylvester vs. Tweety, Wile E. Coyote vs. Roadrunner, and Bugs vs. Daffy respectively) are all readily available on YouTube, but strangely, the first one is nowhere to be found. Some clips can be seen in “retrospectives” during other Big Games, though the actual special has never surfaced.
- Tom and Jerry's football helmets use logos based upon those of real National Football League teams. Tom's helmet logo was based on that of the Jacksonville Jaguars, while Jerry's is based on that of the Oakland Raiders (who were located in Los Angeles from 1982 to 1994, and will relocate to Las Vegas in 2019 or 2020; having been based in Oakland otherwise).