‘It is going to be actually particular’: 2022 NFL Wild Card Recreation on Nickelodeon announcers dish on Sunday’s sport


The 2021 NFL Wild Card Recreation on Nickelodeon was a revelation to children and households, changing into the community’s most-watched program amongst whole viewers in almost 4 years and profitable two Sports activities Emmys. It is coming again Sunday with as juicy and traditionally important a matchup as doable: San Francisco 49ers-Dallas Cowboys. 

CBS Sports activities analyst Nate Burleson, play-by-play broadcaster Noah Eagle and Nick star Gabrielle Nevaeh Inexperienced will return within the sales space whereas Nick star Younger Dylan will function a sideline reporter for the primary time. 

Final 12 months’s NFL Wild Card Recreation on Nickelodeon between the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears featured kid-focused content material, on-field graphics, visible filters and, in fact, tons of slime. It was the primary kid-centric broadcast in NFL historical past. 

In an unique interview with CBS Sports activities, Inexperienced mentioned the 2022 NFL Wild Card Recreation on Nickelodeon will deliver “so many extra surprises” in comparison with final 12 months whereas Eagle predicted it will likely be “actually particular.” Eagle and Inexperienced expounded in our prolonged dialog: 

CBS Sports activities: How does it really feel to be again, preparing to do that sport as soon as once more?

NE: Feels superior. It actually does. I used to be simply saying that I believe we have been all prepared the second the sport ended final 12 months to get proper again on the saddle and do it once more – we simply had a lot enjoyable in the course of the sport. And, you already know, the response was clearly nice. It was virtually sudden how briskly it ended up coming. However I believe we did such an amazing job of studying one another’s tendencies fairly rapidly into that first sport that now we really feel like, OK, we will construct on that. Now we will perhaps be just a little extra experimental in some methods or others. So, I believe we’re all simply actually excited to be again collectively as a whole whole group – everybody behind the scenes, everyone on digicam, et cetera. And I believe we’re particularly excited with the matchup that we received, going to Jerry’s World in Dallas as nicely. It is going to be actually particular. So, excited might be the perfect phrase, though it would not actually do justice, the sensation we have all received.

GG: I am simply excited to be again with such great individuals. Noah and Nate are such nice guys that took me beneath their wing final 12 months. And this 12 months, we’ll do it once more. It is going to be greater and higher. And, you already know, now we have Younger Dylan this 12 months, and he is an exquisite good friend of mine. So, it is at all times nice to work with individuals that you simply’re accustomed to, and you’ve got nice chemistry with. So, it is gonna be a blast. And I hope individuals actually take pleasure in how a lot we’ll take pleasure in it and we translate how a lot enjoyable we’re having by means of the display screen as nicely. 

CBS Sports activities: With final 12 months’s broadcast being one in all Nick’s most watched packages in years, how did you course of the response it received, and why do you suppose this kid-centric broadcast is resonating with individuals? 

NE: I actually do suppose all of us felt fairly assured stepping into that it was going to hit the goal demographic that we have been hoping to hit – you already know, children wherever from 5 to 14 years outdated or so. We felt fairly good based mostly on the expertise we had, based mostly on the assist we had with the graphics and the solutions from the gamers and simply all of the little issues that we knew stepping into. What we did not anticipate was the older viewers from 14 and as much as reply the best way that they did. And it was superior, a few of the messages that we received. I do know that Nate received a message from Kurt Warner that his son for the primary time in his life – and this was actually cool – watched the sport begin to end. I received messages from individuals saying that they or their siblings or their children, nieces, nephews – they watched it for the primary time begin to end. That was essentially the most particular half concerning the reception, and we appreciated all of the constructive responses we received. However the cause that it resonated with everyone was for youthful viewers, you had the bells and whistles, you had issues to maintain your curiosity as a result of it wasn’t simply staring on the discipline and hoping for a primary down; it was one thing popping up or SpongeBob within the goalposts or Younger Sheldon describing a penalty. So, it was simply totally different. However I believe that for adults who’re watching it, it took you again to why you fell in love with the game within the first place. It was the enjoyable, it was the joy. It was this sense, this vitality – you possibly can’t beat it. You are on the soccer discipline, and also you’re competing with individuals you like and also you’re watching with individuals you like. And for us, we simply had a lot enjoyable that I believe everyone was proper there with us. It was as in the event that they have been sitting within the sales space proper subsequent to us. And that is actually the purpose in any broadcast you do, whether or not it is kid-centric, or whether or not it is the Tremendous Bowl and it is on CBS – you need somebody to really feel like they’re sitting proper there subsequent to you, they usually’re in on it with you, having that dialog. And we received to perform that final 12 months, and now we get to construct on it this 12 months.

GG: Personally, I did not know the massive affect that it was going to have. I knew it was one thing that had by no means been performed earlier than. One, you’ve gotten a lady up within the sales space with the blokes. Two, you are having a playoff sport on Nickelodeon, which is a child’s tv community – that is by no means been performed earlier than. So, going into it, we knew that it was one thing very new and really contemporary and really natural and one thing that folks had by no means seen earlier than. However, personally, I did not know what affect we have been going to have on younger children and younger households that noticed their daughters in me or noticed their son in Lex (Lumpkin) final 12 months. And it is an actual honor to be part of one thing that is so groundbreaking and so impactful on simply this second and hopefully moments down the road, when these children develop up, they usually have children and say, hey, Nickelodeon was such a giant a part of my life. They taught me about soccer, they impressed my love for the game they usually launched their children to the identical factor.

CBS Sports activities: What is going on to be altering out of your finish from final 12 months’s broadcast going into this one? 

GG: Nicely, I really feel like we’re all going into it realizing what to anticipate, roughly. The whole lot’s sudden, so all of us form of simply waft as a result of that is how this goes. As a result of we’re doing one thing that’s nonetheless so new, regardless that it is the second time, it is one thing not conventional, so we’re all form of simply bouncing round and bouncing off of one another. So, so far as being totally different, there’s going to be so many extra surprises. There’s going to be much more vivid AR. There’s going to be extra vivid visuals. The slime goes to be greater and higher. These slime zones are going to be even crazier. And I really feel like we’re gonna have much more nuggets for the gamers so as to add in, and I really feel like that was one thing that basically made our broadcasts distinctive final 12 months was that we humanize the gamers. They’re stars, they’re those that younger children look as much as, however they’re additionally individuals. They’ve a favourite coloration, they’ve a favourite meals. And I really feel like that is one thing that we’re additionally going to combine this 12 months, which is admittedly going to raise our company as nicely.

NE: All people nonetheless has that child inside them. So, to Gabby’s level, the truth that we received to deliver that out of the gamers, it is enormous. And I believe she’s proper. Final 12 months, the gamers have been nice about it, they usually have been enthusiastic about it. However I believe it takes it to a distinct stage as a result of they received to see it and see what it could do and see the kind of notion it could get. And so not simply gamers however coaches and followers. I believe that persons are excited concerning the subsequent risk, what else can we deliver to the desk. So, Gabby’s proper – we have got an enchancment, basically, on all of the expertise. We have gotten enchancment on all the weather. And the hope is that we will get an enchancment on a few of the participant solutions as nicely. However on the finish of the day, for us personally, we do know precisely what to anticipate. And we form of know easy methods to put together for it even higher than we did final 12 months, and so we will assault that head on and really feel much more safe about what we’re doing earlier than we’re going into it. Now, on the similar time, you do not need to really feel structured as a result of that is what made it so nice final 12 months. We have been simply over there having a dialog about soccer and having fun with ourselves and simply having the time of our lives. And in order that half will not change, and I believe that the largest key in all of that is can we discover that very same exuberance and vitality? And I promise you we’ll. 

CBS Sports activities: This sport has so many larger-than-life gamers like George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. How will masking these virtually Nickelodeon-level personalities be a bonus for you heading into this broadcast?

NE: The extra persona the higher, as a result of it is Nickelodeon. We now have tons of gamers who’re enormous personalities, and I really feel like that is actually gonna assist our broadcast as a result of we will form of feed off of their vitality they usually can feed off of ours. And I really feel prefer it’s gonna make it much more attention-grabbing and much more partaking. And it isn’t simply the personalities; It is the groups themselves. These are traditionally nice NFL franchises. So, to have that and to have the ability to share a few of the historical past of the league with perhaps some children who aren’t conscious of Dwight Clark’s catch or Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith, and principally the truth that these two groups have been battling to win the Tremendous Bowl in the identical convention yearly by means of the 90s goes to be nice as nicely. However from the persona standpoint, we received just about a dream matchup. Dak Prescott is as personable as you are going to discover, is as well-liked and well-respected across the NFL as you may discover. Ezekiel Elliott, excessive persona CeeDee lamb is sort of a Nickelodeon character in actual life. In order that’s simply the Cowboys offense alone. Micah Parsons – who’s going to win Defensive Rookie of the 12 months this 12 months, bar none – he’s, for those who had an opportunity to observe a few of the off-field clips that he is had already, he’s very colourful, and that is what we wish. That is what we’re searching for. You already talked about George Kittle, Deebo Samuel. We all know these guys. It is going to be a enjoyable sport to be part of, and the personalities solely assist make our job even simpler.

CBS Sports activities: This is without doubt one of the NFL’s most signature, historic rivalries courting again many years. What’s it going to be like so that you can reintroduce a few of these historic moments to an viewers that seemingly would not have a lot historical past with them?

NE: For Gabby, I believe it’s going to be an attention-grabbing perspective. As a result of Gabby, final 12 months, you got here into that sport in New Orleans, and also you basically have been asking us questions on what is going on on on the sector. Nicely, this 12 months, you possibly can form of ask us concerning the historical past of the NFL, and we will convey a few of that to perhaps different children across the nation that do not know soccer fairly as nicely. And so it is one other facet that we get to share with everyone.

GG: And simply form of bouncing off, my job final 12 months was to be the voice of youngsters which are new to sports activities and do not actually know as a lot about sports activities as a result of Nate and Noah are the specialists. Nevertheless it’s my job to form of join with the children and ask questions which will appear foolish however somebody at dwelling is certainly pondering. And I believe – particularly with this matchup – it may be necessary for us to attach with the viewers once more and form of convey the historical past that these two groups have. That manner, children can develop and be taught the game even higher.

NE: Actually, I believe it connects individuals now shifting ahead. While you be taught historical past, you possibly can join with extra individuals of various ages. So, let’s take a Nickelodeon present that everyone loves. SpongeBob is an ideal instance. SpongeBob began once I was a extremely younger child – that is once I was first on the air. And it is nonetheless going as a result of it’s legendary past legendary, proper? SpongeBob is an all-time TV character on any community throughout any form of platform. You possibly can’t high it, for my part. However for somebody who perhaps is seven or eight years outdated proper now, in the event that they return and watch outdated SpongeBob episodes from once I was a child, we will join over that. We are able to bond over that. So now if we’re instructing children concerning the rivalry of the 90s of the Cowboys and the Niners they usually’re studying about it, now they’ll join with an older sibling or cousin or somebody they meet. And that is my favourite half about sports activities, proper? In concept, it brings us all collectively, and it bonds us. And so now we will form of assist domesticate a few of these relationships for a few of these individuals on the market.

CBS Sports activities: This a brand new expertise for each of you with Gabby getting launched to soccer broadcasting and also you, Noah, working with Nickelodeon. What’s it like so that you can deal with this new problem and exit of your consolation zone professionally whereas additionally entertaining individuals within the course of? 

GG: It is nice, it is contemporary, it is new. It is every part that I am about as a result of I do not prefer to be put in a field. I do not love to do the identical factor again and again. I really like difficult myself and attempting issues that perhaps I usually would not have. So, it is a actually nice train for me to form of train a muscle that I did not even know I had final 12 months.

NE: A smart man as soon as informed me if it would not utterly terrify you at first then do not do it. And so this was one thing that, I do not know if any of us have been terrified or something like that final 12 months, however there was a nervous vitality once we first thought of it as a result of nobody knew what this was speculated to look or sound like. After which we realized fairly rapidly – and I believe Gabby would agree – we went by means of the rehearsal the day earlier than, and once we went by means of that all of us form of stepped again and mentioned, oh, that is gonna be, it is gonna be actually good. That is going to be very easy with all of us; we’ll haven’t any points by any means. And that is precisely what occurred. So, to me, it is necessary to proceed to problem your self. It is necessary to proceed to step into different realms and maintain every part attention-grabbing and contemporary. And one thing that I’ve at all times wished to do in my profession is add one thing totally different and new yearly. And so for me, this was an amazing factor so as to add in 2021, was the Nickelodeon Wild Card sport, which had by no means been performed earlier than. Now, can we increase that? Can we do extra with it now that we’re just a little bit extra snug? How can we add to it? So, it is thrilling greater than the rest, however positively necessary to me. And I do know, as Gabby mentioned, it is necessary to her to do one thing that simply makes you just a little bit uncomfortable and makes you query, OK, am I going to do that to the perfect of my means?

The NFL Wild Card Recreation on Nickelodeon is slated for 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday. The standard broadcast might be obtainable on CBS, Paramount+ and Amazon Prime Video. 



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