Why would the NFL choose to be on NICK?
The National Football League recently made some lemonade out of lemons when it broadcast one of its Wild Card playoff games on Nickelodeon.
It was an unusual platform for a pro football game – but a brilliant move. How better to teach the next generation of football fans than on their own network and in their own terms.
Former NFL wide receiver Nate Burelson, who us usually found in the CBS studio for NFL pregame and halftime shows with other retired coaches and players, was paired with Gabrielle Nevaeh Green, a 15-year-old Nick star, to talk about the game. Noah Eagle handled play-by-play duties.
Sheldon Cooper from Young Sheldon provided explanations of penalties and rules.
Tim Keown, a senior writer for ESPN, wrote that it was Mister Rogers meets John Madden.
Burleson described New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees by saying, “He’s the kid at recess who never misses at dodgeball.” Later he said Saints all-purpose star Taysom Hill was like the kid at recess who could do everything.
The pregame show featured SpongeBob SquarePants as did a graphic framed by the goal posts on field goals and extra points. And the entire telecast had cartoon graphics and neon special effects. The endzone was even called the “slime zone.”
To top it off, winning coach Sean Payton even got slimed after the game! He told NFL.com “It was pretty cold. It felt like Jello that’s not quite finished being Jello.”
Oh to be a kid again.