With snow and ice covering most of the East Coast on Sunday, South Carolinians settled in for a unique day. The day continued to be peculiar when viewers found football on Nickelodeon, rather than cartoons.
It’s a highly anticipated event as last year’s matchup on the network drew more than 30 millions viewers and 2 million kids, according to CNBC. The game featured a bevy of antics as the New Orleans Saints defeated the Chicago Bears to advance to the NFC divisional round, including the famous slime cannons when a team scored.
The cannons made their return when the Dallas Cowboys faced the San Francisco 49ers. However, this year, the pomp and circumstance felt stale.
With just one game on the network, there is an unwritten expectation to raise the bar over what was done last season. There’s nothing wrong with following the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, but Nickelodeon gets one game per year. There’s an argument that more needed to be done.
The lack of post-production did not dampen the on-field performance as fans were treated to the best wild card game of the weekend. The 49ers staved off a fourth quarter comeback by the Cowboys to advance to the next round.
It was a game that had everything, including a fake punt and, according to Cowboy fans, ref interference. With the amount of bizarre twists and turns that fourth quarter had, Nickelodeon will get what it set out for: viewership.
In terms of growing the game, a proverbial copy-and-paste will not be sufficient in future years, especially if the network decides to branch out into other sports.
It’s a brilliant idea with enough of a twist that will get fans excited to enjoy football in a new way, but if you aren’t pushing the envelope every year, it will get old fast.