So for Wildcard Weekend, for what was probably a marketing gimmick, the NFL and Nickelodeon teamed up to broadcast Saints/Bears. Nickelodeon hosted a football game. The children’s channel known for rugrats, spongebob, and slime. Nate Burleson acted as commentator and the broadcast was filled with fun graphics and silly things.

It was a blatant attempt to market the game to kids and it was a fun gimmick game, but it wasn’t much more than that. I enjoyed the variety and silliness of computer generated slime cannons going off during touchdowns and Mitch Trubisky getting voted NVP thanks to obvious troll voting. It was harmless and silly, and yet it was most definitely a gimmick that wouldn’t sustain itself over more than this one game. I enjoyed the novelty of it; I wouldn’t watch a season of NFL on Nickelodeon.

Also, they couldn’t have picked a worse game to host if they wanted to market the NFL to kids. Both teams run on defense. The Saints are led by an old man who throws short unexciting passes. The Bears have no offense whatsoever. Kids aren’t going to appreciate defense. I didn’t care about defense as a kid, outside players hitting each other. I didn’t understand the rules. I didn’t understand downs and offensive schemes. When I was a kid I liked football because the people ran into each other and grunted very loudly and it was fun seeing the guy throw the ball through the air and when they got in the colored part of the field that was a touchdown and I got to throw my arms up and dance. They should have hosted Steelers/Browns or Bills/Colts, or Titans/Ravens. Any of the games would have been an easier sell than Saints/Bears.

But the broadcast got me thinking. If the NFL is going to try to market to new audiences, I would actually love to see what other channels do with the chance to broadcast a game. Instead of sticking games in weird places like London or Mexico or whatever they have planned next, make Thursday Night Football into GIMMICK NIGHT!

-Adult Swim: The broadcast is basically pictured above. Carl and Dr. Orpheus in the booth, Ghost as the halftime show guy, Eric Andre as the sideline reporter, highlight packages and gamebreaks are presented like channel switching a’la robot chicken. Cheerleaders are all Mortys. The other team’s cheerleaders are Ricks. I’d watch the shit out of this.
Lifetime: Normal broadcast, but the sideline reporter is played by a failed TV star you vaguely remember and over the course of the game she realizes her presumed dead ex-husband is stalking her and she’s only saved at the last minute by her new boyfriend, the outside linebacker.
HBO: The broadcast quality is really good, the booth is run by a couple of gangsters, the halftime show is normal highlights but the announcers are naked and having sex, the sideline reporter is such a Miranda, the referee is Larry David and they play the curb music every time a kicker shanks it. If a player is ejected Omar comes out and shoots them with his shotgun.
Disney: Tell me you don’t want to hear a game called by Donald and Goofy. Please give me 3 hours of Donald Duck explaining complex blocking schemes. The sideline reporter is the newest charming kid they created in the Disney labs.
Home Shopping Network: Everything in the game is up for sale. The helmet Brady just threw in frustration? 109.99 plus shipping. The Back judge’s flag? 15.99, you can’t beat that deal. It even works as a reusable napkin set if you buy 4!
TV Land: The game is broadcast in black and white and the announcers just talk about how much better games were when Jim Brown was playing.
HGTV: The booth commentators are just the property brothers. They spend the entire game renovating the one endzone and reveal it at the very end, only to find out they took away the uprights because they thought it was too gaudy and now the kicker has no idea how to make the game winning field goal attempt.
TV Guide Channel: The top half is just a small broadcast of the game, the bottom half is a scrolling display of every play in real time, and you keep accidentally looking away and missing when the touchdown scrolls by.
Weather: Up to the minute reports on how wet the ball is and how much the windchill and jet stream might effect the ball’s kick trajectory. The Local on the 8’s is just game highlights. The entire game is broadcast with smooth jazz.
Hallmark: Every game is a beautiful snow game, the commentators are long lost siblings and are reunited with their mom at the end
CSPAN: The cameras only focus on the coaching staff talking the whole time
FXX: The booth is called by Archer and Mallory, Lana is the sideline reporter, and the referees are the Gang from Always Sunny. Only broadcasts Eagles games. Every game also features up to the minute fantasy updates from The League.
SyFy: The football players turn into giant sharks and octopuses and boy, is the CGI really bad. Every game spoils the results at the beginning in a Battlestar Gallactica style intro. They keep saying the coaches have a plan but we know it isn’t true.
DISCOVERY: They spend the entire broadcast talking about fake football myths and 2 hours are dedicated to the Sound Guys job and how hard it is. The sideline reporter is on a crab boat.
HISTORY: Booth is the ALIENS guy with the wild hair and most of the broadcast is speculating on whether or not Hitler actually died or went into hiding.
MTV: Every member of the broadcast crew is an obnoxious 20 something with a bad tan and the entire game is just them fighting each other about bullshit.