As the NFL season officially gets under way tonight, the league and Viacom’s Nicktoons are teaming up to produce Rush Zone: Season Of The Guardians, an animated series geared toward getting kids hooked on football, the Los Angeles Times reports. The series is comprised of two dozen 30-minute episodes and is set to debut on Nicktoons on November 30. “We’ve been laser-focused for the last five years trying to connect kids to the NFL,” says Peter O’Reilly, vice president of fan strategy and marketing for the NFL. The series stems from a successful series of animated shorts that the NFL and Nicktoons produced and aired during the 2010-11 football season. Rush Zone tells the story of a boy named Ish and his friends who live in Canton, Ohio, home of the NFL’s Hall of Fame. O’Reilly says Ish and his pals have been “tapped as guardians to protect the sport from an evil force trying to capture the essence of the NFL.” The boys take on various villains who are out to destroy the game. NFL players who’ll be portraying themselves in the series include New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson and now-retired NFL quarterback Jim Kelly.

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