Okay, I have been trying to remember this show's name for years.
Back when I was in elementary school, I had to get up at around 5 AM every morning to get ready for the school bus and while I was eating breakfast and checking my backpack, my mom would have the TV on morning cartoons. In those days, we only had an antenna for the TV, so we only got like, 3 channels, and the main channel we watched was Fox 56. I watched Gargoyles, Bobby's World and Animaniacs until I had to run out to the bus, but there was one show that, for the life of me, I couldn't remember the name of.
One day when I reminiscing about old cartoons with my little brother, I asked if he remembered the zombie soccer show and he looked at me like I was crazy. I distinctly remember watching a cartoon where these zombie guys were playing soccer and losing their heads or getting their arms torn off (which is kind of a weird show to have on for kids in the morning, but hey, whatever), but my mom said she had no idea what I was talking about.
Recently I remembered that I still didn't know what the hell that show was (because I was still convinced that it existed) so I broke out the Google-fu and found out I am not crazy, it did exist.
Mutant League is a cartoon show based off of a pair of video games called Mutant League Football and Mutant League Hockey. The show had two seasons and ran from 1994 to 1996.
The basic idea behind the show is that during a football game, players and fans are mutated by toxic waste that is uncovered by an earthquake (there was a lot of toxic waste in the 80s and 90s, wasn't there?). Eventually, a sports league is set up for the mutated players and it's named the Mutant League. The league encompasses several sports such as basketball, baseball, soccer (See!? I was right!), and hockey, but the main sport that was featured was football.
There were five teams in the Mutant League: The Midway Monsters, The Slay City Slayers, The Ooze, The Derangers and The Screaming Evils. The show mainly focused on Bones Justice, a player for the Midway Monsters, and his search for his father and his attempts to make the Mutant League more orderly and fair. Another plot point of the show was Zalgor Prigg, the corrupt Mutant League commissioner who attempts to get Bones to join one of the teams he owns.
All of the rules for the sports played in the Mutant League are modified to allow extreme violence, considering the players are pretty much indestructible. There are also deathtraps worked into the games to make them more challenging and sometimes there would be "grudge matches" between certain players at the end of the games.
Apparently, it was a pretty violent show, as the players would constantly lose their extremities or get pummeled into the ground. I'm going to guess this is where my memories of zombie soccer players getting their limbs torn off comes from. The players never suffered permanent injury, though, because they had the Rejuvenator. This device doused the injured player in toxic chemicals that allowed their body to heal back to its normal state in a short amount of time.
Season 1 (13 Episodes)
Episode 1 - "Opening Kick-Off"
Episode 2 - "Frightening Disease"
Episode 3 - "The Fugitive"
Episode 4 - "The Teammate"
Episode 5 - "Head of the Coach"
Episode 6 - "Troublemakers"
Episode 7 - "Collision Course"
Episode 8 - "The Sumo Match"
Episode 9 - "The Prize of Fame"
Episode 10 - "Boneheads Whodunnit?"
Episode 11 - "The Loser"
Episode 12 - "Breakdown"
Episode 13 - "All-Star Battle Royale"
Season 2 (27 Episodes)
Episode 1 - "She's A Girl!"
Episode 2 - "The Great Madman"
Episode 3 - "Razor's Wedge"
Episode 4 - "The Bones Justice Story"
Episode 5 - "The Retirement"
Episode 6 - "Until You Walked in My Shoes..."
Episode 7 - "Scandalous Cad Prt 1"
Episode 8 - "Scandalous Cad Prt 2"
Episode 9 - "The Ultimate Breed"
Episode 10 - "The Recruit"
Episode 11 - "Enter the Skeletoid"
Episode 12 - "Hooked on Buzz"
Episode 13 - "Shoeless Lazer"
Episode 14 - "All-Star Game"
Episode 15 - "The Outing"
Episode 16 - "The Mental Game"
Episode 17 - "Role Model"
Episode 18 - "Strike"
Episode 19 - "The Fanatic"
Episode 20 - "Ultra Fear"
Episode 21 - "City Course"
Episode 22 - "The Comeback"
Episode 23 - "Love Story"
Episode 24 - "In My Father's Name Prt 1"
Episode 25 - "In My Father's Name Prt 2"
Episode 26 - "Sudden Death"
Episode 27 - "The Hall of Pain Awards"
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEmSMvdMH4M (This is the intro for Mutant League, I used it to make sure this is the show I remember seeing since I was working off of memory.)