If you didn't grow up watching football, it could be kind of tough understanding all of the rules of the game. How possessions work, advancing to the endzone, the rules behind what constitutes an interception or a tackle or pass interference takes some time to get used to. Plus, seeing ginormous men in tights in full-on riot gear crash into each other can be a bit intimidating while trying to get a grasp on all these NFL rules.
It's understandable why football games would have a bit of a "serious" air about them: it's one of the most violent professional mainstream sports in the world, so blaring musical cues and talks of "glory" seem pretty fitting. But all of this could alienate some viewers, so in what's most likely a bid to try and get youngsters on board with watching some pigskin-slinging action, the NFL partnered with Nickelodeon to broadcast football games.
And the kids-programming network went all-in with their coverage of the New Orleans Saints vs the Chicago Bears by "Nick-ifying" everything. We're talking football players getting digitally slimed in the endzones, hilarious filters being added to coach and players' faces out of the blue, and Nick jokes being tossed into the commentary for good measure.
Please listen to the tweet embedded below and tell me that isn't just the most Nick-tastic thing you've ever seen in the game of football.
The broadcast team put Gabrielle Nevaeh Green along with Noah Eagle on the play-by-play and Nate Burleson as an analyst and the three absolutely crushed it. The juxtaposition of traditional, professional commentating styles combined with Nickelodeon references had people rolling.
Then there were the touchdown celebrations. Digital slime cannons going off in the end-zone is definitely an NFL first.
The in-game instant replay graphics were then replaced with roblox-ified versions of Bears and Saints players and it's safe to say that the entire experiment was a huge success.
Well, except for the on-field scuffles and the occasional foul language that players would use on the field. But Nickelodeon has pretty much the same restrictions as network TV, right?
Ultimately though, it seemed that not only were people digging the new aesthetic, especially when it came to the scorebug and digitally added-on Spongebob eyes, but some even tweeted that this was the first time their kids actually enjoyed watching football with them, which seems like it was kind of the whole point of getting Nickelodeon to broadcast professional football games in the first place.
It seems like a lot of longtime NFL fans were into the idea of bringing this idea back. Who would want to see the slime-ified endzone line become a permanent fixture of the sport? Well, probably tons of people, but personally, this makes me want to watch football even more.
Others are hoping that the agreement stays in play until the end of the football year, and many are clamoring for a Nickelodeon version of the Super Bowl.
This would be a pretty brilliant marketing move on the game's part. If you thought Super Bowl commercials were fun now, imagine the amount of money that would go into kids' toy Super Bowl commercials?