Nickelodeon aired a kid-friendly NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints on Jan. 10, 2020. (Photo: Getty Images)
Slime cannons, googly eyes and SpongeBob SquarePants aren’t the hallmarks of professional football, but on Sunday the game got sillier, thanks to a partnership between the NFL and Nickelodeon.
Airing alongside the CBS broadcast of the Jan. 10 game between the New Orleans Saints and the Chicago Bears was a Nickelodeon version titled NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon. During that game, a filter sprayed the field with slime, players were animated with exaggerated eyes and silly hats, there was a half-time preview of Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years and commentators simplified plays — when Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (who last week sustained a concussion), was tackled, it was compared to “scraping your knee at recess.”
It’s 2021. How are announcers still describing potential brain injury symptoms in this way?! Getting up slowly after hitting your head is not just like scraping your new at recess. What a message to send to child viewers. Utterly irresponsible. https://t.co/MV5i9VyYLq
— Dr Kathleen Bachynski (@bachyns) January 11, 2021
The Nick broadcast, which earned 2 million viewers (distinguishing itself as the “most-watched program among total viewers in nearly four years,” according to ViacomCBS), scored on social media as a family bonding activity and a new way to shake up football.
Representatives from Nickelodeon and its parent company ViacomCBS did not immediately respond to Yahoo Life’s requests for comment. Sean McManus, the chairman of CBS Sports said in a press release, “This is a first of its kind presentation for the NFL together with Nickelodeon, and we are very excited to create a unique telecast that will maximize the co-viewing appeal for kids and families,