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Western Animation / NFL Rush Zone: Guardians of the Core

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NFL Rush Zone is an animated action-adventure television series on the Nickelodeon network, debuting September 6, 2010 and running until October 22, 2014 for three seasons.

The first season (titled Guardians of the Core) stars Ish, a young boy who is named a Guardian, given powers and tasked with protecting the 32 NFL teams and their shards (recognized as the various teams' symbols). The 32 shards make up the Core and are incredibly powerful. Ish must stop the evil Sudden Death from using them for his own nefarious purposes.

The second season (titled Season of the Guardians) follows the ever expanding Guardians forces facing off against a new villain called Wild Card. The shards have been revamped as Megacores.

The third season (titled Guardians Unleashed) features the aftermath of the Guardians last encounter with Wild Card and the return of Sudden Death.

The series is, in part, produced by the NFL and feature various NFL stars as guest voice actors as themselves in the show.


  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The villains and the Guardians when suited up are rendered in 3D animation. The Rusherz also switch to being 3D for the third season.
  • Bad Boss: Wild Card cares way more about winning than about his henchman, and takes his anger about the bad things that happen to him (namely being defeated by the Guardians) on Dropkick (Sidekick).
  • Big Bad: The first season had Sudden Death. The second season had Wild Card. The third season returns the focus back onto Sudden Death again.
  • Celebrity Toons: The various NFL stars.
  • The Dark Side: Ash, Ricky and Ish were tempted by and joined the bad guys. They later come to their senses and join the guardians.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Sidekick was jealous of Richard's son, who got what little love the doctor gave to anything besides his work. This causes Sidekick to sabotage their experiment in an attempt to kill Warren and have Richard to himself.
  • Advertisement:
  • Heel–Face Turn: Ash and Ricky were both villains in their first appearances. They both later realize their mistakes and join the Guardians.
  • Large Ham: Marty
  • Product Placement: The show is practically a buffet of NFL-owned logos.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Ash.
  • 65-Episode Cartoon: Split between 22 short-length episodes, 42 full-length episodes and a movie.
  • Smurfette Principle: Ash is the only girl on the team.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Richard Zimmer was more interested in studying the Core and harnessing its energy than paying any sort of attention to his son Warren.