Do You Remember “Sports” Cartoons?

A hippo and a cat (and sometimes a pig and/or a dog) engage in a competition of sports…and that’s not the beginning of a bad joke. In the world of 1980s animation, it actually exists as Sports Cartoons!

And in the spirit of the Olympics, there was no way I could let this one get past me!

But Seriously, What Are Sports Cartoons?

Sports Cartoons are a series of short cartoon produced by Lamb-Perlman Productions in 1985, and resemble the National Film Board of Canada’s animation style. The shorts feature anthropomorphic animals as the participants of various sports.

The participants are:

The Hippo….

The Cat…

The Big Cats…

The Pigs…

And the Dog.

The concept is simple – the animals (usually the Hippo and the Cat) engage in various sporting events. By his own disastrous design, the antagonistic Cat never wins.

However, through pure dumb luck, the sweet Hippo (or the Pig) always succeeds.

Actually, there was that one time The Big Cats won…


That’s it, really. No dialogue, no voices (except for the screeching cat). The shorts range in running time – 40 seconds to two minutes in length.

Sports Cartoons As Filler Material

In the United States, Sports Cartoons filled commercial space between programs on Nickelodeon in the late 1980s and until the mid-1990s. I have vivid memories of watching the animals duke it out frequently, and loved watching the Hippo come out on top. When one watched, one never rooted for the Cat. You rooted for the Hippo (or Pigs).

Besides, the Hippo was adorable.

Those ears!

All told, the entire series ran forty-five minutes (for forty-five episodes), and saw a home video release by Family Home Entertainment.

Yes, mom and dad…you’ll love it too!

What Types of Sports Were Featured in Sports Cartoons?

Well…everything! And probably some you haven’t thought of! Common sports, such as Basketball, Baseball, Football, Soccer, Hockey, and Boxing had their moment, as did anything construed as a sport.

That’s right – nestled with the “typical” sports, Hippo, Cat, and Friends also competed in Darts, Chess, Skydiving, Karate, Swimming, Pommel Horse, Gymnastics, Skeet Shooting, Hot Air Balloon, Javelin, Shot Put (this one was a two-parter), Fencing, and Table Tennis.

And that’s not even scratching the surface!

Would You Like To See Some Sports Cartoons?

Of course you would!

And thanks to You Tube…you can!

Upload via Twin Peakser

Now do you remember?

Video/VCR Test #3 – “The Albert Achievement Awards”

Before you ask, this isn’t an award given to people named Albert.

Why would you think…oh.

Ok, now I understand. You thought…people named Albert…ohhhh.

Glad we cleared this up!

I rooted through VHS tapes in my basement. I culled video and VCR tests for two videocassettes in my collection (See Exhibits A and B), and because I can’t leave well enough alone, you’re getting a third one for your troubles!

You’re so lucky.

This video and VCR test comes to us from another tape in my collection, the 1993 CBS Fox Video print of The Albert Achievement Awards, a sports bloopers compilation that covers the wild (yes, wild) world of sports, ranging from high school (and even younger) to professional, singers of the national anthem, broadcasters, and even fans. No one was safe from Marv Albert and his crack staff at NBC Sports.

My brother got this video as a gift from our parents for Christmas when we were eleven, and the video was a hit for quite a few years. We’re Yankees and Giants fans, and yes, they weren’t even safe from Marv. Neither were Charles Barkley, David Letterman, and some of the personalities on NBC Sports. Even Amad Rashad is forced to refer to Marv as his “best friend.”

And sports bloopers are awesome…if you like sports. Which I do.

The “Albert Achievement Awards” were a segment that aired on David Letterman’s talk show, both on NBC and CBS, during Albert’s 126 appearances. He would show the clips set against the song “12th Street Rag.” And yes, this song does appear on the video rather prominently.

I’m going to take a look at this video at some point, as it is worthy of my recapping prowess, but for the moment, enjoy the video test I did for it.

Uploaded by Allison Venezio

So, is it painfully obvious yet that Allison loves old videos in her collection, and the goodies she can find on them? Do you like them too? If you do like this among, other geeky stuff she covers, you can check out her blog, Allison’s Written Words. You can also follow her blog on Facebook, and her on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

No footage exists of Allison playing sports. Because she never played them.


What Muhammad Ali means to me.

When I woke up this morning, I reached for my smartphone and saw a news notification I feared was coming, “Muhammad Ali dead at 74”. I put my head back on the pillow and saw a message from an editor of The Retroist website asking if I would like to write something about Ali. I told him I would. He responded immediately telling me that he thought it was best that I write about the man since he did not know as much about the sport. What Vic Sage (the editor) is referring to is my background in boxing; I was an amateur boxer and USA Boxing coach. Then I thought, “Ali was more than a boxer, he was public figure that most of the world knew.” I have no more a right to write about him than anyone, but since I accepted the task, I decided to write about what Muhammad Ali means to me.

For the casual fan or people not interested in the sport, they must think of boxing as nothing more than two people beating each other senseless inside a square-shaped combat zone. That is completely understandable. The truth is that there is a lot more to boxing hence the nickname “the sweet science”. Muhammad Ali was the embodiment of that. While technically he did a lot of things incorrectly, his athleticism, size and height made up for that. More importantly his mind found ways to win. He can see a challenge and prepare for it as he did when he surprised everyone by laying on the ropes in his bout with George Foreman in Zaire.

[Via] Jeff Jackson

So while there is a technical side of boxing, there is something else that is required, a prerequisite: toughness. That is not something you can teach and frankly, you as a boxer don’t know if you have it until you start fighting. Muhammad Ali was tough. His toughness & skills made him the heavyweight champion of the world. The fans knew it, his opponents knew it, and the average person knew it. Yet, I find many fighters, world champions even, that feel they have to act tough all the time. Not Ali. Outside of the ring, he was a jovial person. Loving, caring, and downright silly at times. He didn’t need to prove his toughness except in the ring where he felt fighting belonged. Not on the streets.

He avoided violence at all cost. An example of this was when Ali & Joe Frazier were in a television studio with Howard Cosell discussing their first fight when Frazier stood in front of Ali clearly ready to fight, because he grew tired of Ali’s insults. Ali stayed in his chair, but his brother got on the studio stage and confronted Frazier. Ali, probably fearing that Frazier would fight get into an altercation with his brother, jumped up and pulled Frazier’s head down and wrestled him on the floor. Ali, a boxer, could have simply punched Joe while he was distracted, but he went the route of trying to defuse the situation without anyone getting hurt. Sure enough, no one did as enough people ran over and separated everyone.

[Via] Pbarry’s 191 Channel

That, more than anything, made an impression on me. I don’t have to go around acting tough, because I know what I am. I know who I am. I have nothing to prove, because I proved it by climbing through the ropes and fighting my heart out. If I walk away from a fight in a bar, on the street, anywhere outside of the ring, it doesn’t mean I am a coward, it simply means I am in control of my feelings, have nothing to prove, and frankly, do not want to cause harm to someone else. Muhammad Ali taught me that by the way he lived his life.