Saturday, January 15, 2022

Nickelodeon Stars Get Us Ready for Slime-Filled Game Between Cowboys and Niners | NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon Stars Get Us Ready for Slime-Filled Game Between Cowboys and Niners

USA TODAY Sports' Jori Epstein is joined by Nickelodeon stars Gabrielle Nevaeh Green (That Girl Lay Lay, All That) and Dylan Gilmore (Dylan Gilmer, Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan) who promise us there will be tons of slime in Sunday's game!

Watch the NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon on Sunday, Jan. 16, at 4:30 p.m. (ET), only on Nick! Click HERE to find out more!

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From USA Today:

Cowboys stars say they'll let Nickelodeon slime them if they win wild-card playoff game vs. 49ers

The truck arrived at JerryWorld on Thursday evening carrying 82.5 gallons of slime and a custom-designed slime tank.

That’s 688 pounds of slime, for those keeping track at home.

CBS Sports and Nickelodeon aren’t merely aiming to recreate the Emmy-winning production they coordinated for last year’s debut NFL wild-card game on Nickelodeon broadcast. They’re rounding into postseason form.

“These people are so professional but so funny at the same time,” 12-year-old Nick star Dylan Gilmore, who will report from the sideline, told USA TODAY Sports. “They always trippy. They always lit.”

The Nickelodeon broadcast, featuring the San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys game Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET, will combine augmented reality, carefully curated animation and the trademark heaping of slime as parent company CBS aims to engage parents and fans alike. Past highlights like virtual end zone slime explosions and the image of SpongeBob between the uprights will return. But they have evolved.

CBS Sports and Nickelodeon crew members shipped buckets of slime and a specially designed slime tank to AT&T Stadium ahead of the Cowboys vs. 49ers wild-card game. CBS SPORTS

“This time SpongeBob is changing expression on the field goal,” CBS Sports coordinating producer Shawn Robbins told USA TODAY Sports. “He starts off in this pensive sort of mood and is waiting for it. If it goes in, he gives you a little smile. Wide, doesn’t make it, he has a frown.”

Expect a virtual slime monster to grow from the stadium turf. Expect an augmented-reality Nick blimp to drift through the broadcasted air. Even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are joining the fun as the animated characters of choice to represent NFL NextGen Stats replays. But producer, broadcaster and players know: Fans’ most pressing questions will center around the network’s famous green gunk.

“It’s Nickelodeon. It’s in our blood,” 15-year-old Nick star Gabrielle Nevaeh-Green, a member of the broadcast booth team, told USA TODAY Sports. “You can’t have a broadcast on Nick without slime.”

Are Cowboys players willing to dunk?

“That's kind of funny,” running back Ezekiel Elliott said. “Getting slimed after the game? Yeah, I’d be willing to take one for the team.”

How slime infiltrated the NFL

The NFL is more slime-friendly than fans might expect from a league whose acronym is sometimes mocked as the No Fun League. League officials have supported slime antics in broadcast meetings with CBS. Players have asked for it. And last year, entering the NFC wild-card game in New Orleans, Saints coach Sean Payton said he was willing to be slimed if his team won.

“I would only enjoy being slimed if we won,” Payton said. “I will officially volunteer to be slimed if we win.”

After the Saints defeated the Bears, he stayed true to his word.

Slime infiltrated the league further this season when the NFL agreed to a kid-friendly show, "NFL Slimetime." The show awarded an NVP – Nickelodeon Valuable Player – each week, shipping an orange Nickelodeon blimp trophy to Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, then Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, and then Ravens kicker Justin Tucker. But it was Week 4, when Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott enjoyed NVP honors, that producers realized what they had been missing.

Prescott’s offensive linemen presented the box to him after practice at Cowboys headquarters. The quarterback carefully removing the blimp trophy from its green-confetti-filled wrapping. He hoisted it proudly.

“We do need some slime,” Prescott remarked.

That moment was “like a lightbulb” to the CBS crew, Robbins said. The remainder of the season, trophy boxes included slime jars. From Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow to Dolphins defensive end Christian Wilkins, players invited the baths.

On Sunday, the CBS team will be ready and armed should players or coaches agree to slime. The aforementioned 82.5 gallons of slime arrived with a mess-free dunk tank that enables producers to drench willing victims without risk of slime wrecking a stadium or turf.

Prescott, Elliott and star rookie linebacker Micah Parsons each said, when asked by USA TODAY Sports, that they are willing to be slimed if they win. Only receiver CeeDee Lamb hesitated, initially saying yes before saying he changed his mind to a “game-time decision.” Viewers at home and in the stadium will see the purple-and-green striped rods of the dunk tank on the sidelines Sunday. The Nickelodeon team received approval to park the slime tank on the field near the eastern end zone to “create an ever-looming presence of somebody getting slimed.”

The slime supply is sufficient to get creative, so long as slimees adhere to one rule: no slime suit.

“Absolutely not,” Robbins said. “There’s no slime protection. No way.

“If you want cred in the Nick world, you got to take the sliming.”

‘Slime is for winners’

Beyond the tank-contained messy shenanigans, Nickelodeon viewers are in for a visually appealing and technologically advanced broadcast. Producers are intentional not to mar the actual football, rather to create a “co-viewing experience” in which parents can teach kids the rules of a complicated game in a more inviting and familiar tone. Nick’s Young Sheldon will explain penalties – he has prepared 10 kid-friendly PSAs compared to last year's five – rather than CBS rules analyst and former NFL official Gene Steratore. And the drifting blimp may announce the score at times in place of the massive JerryWorld JumboTron.

But “we’re going to be really respectful of the game,” Robbins said. “If you came to this game, you could watch this game and not be mad at us that we ruined the football for you.”

Former NFL star Nate Burleson and CBS Sports play-by-play announcer Noah Eagle will return to the booth with Nevaeh-Green, while Gilmer – known as Young Dylan to the network – joins as sideline reporter. He concedes he is an Eagles fan gunning for the 49ers “because you know, the Eagles and Cowboys, they have a little bit of a problem” but he nonetheless is “excited to see Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Nick Bosa battle it out vs. Dak, Amari, CeeDee, Trevon Diggs and Ezekiel Elliott.”

Nevaeh-Green says the conversation will be organic as she taps into curiosity to consider questions kids may want answered. Cowboys and Niners players filled out surveys for color commentary that may feature their favorite ice cream flavor and emoji.

The CBS and Nickelodeon crews are eager to see who wins NVP after a social media campaign clinched the title for Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky last season, despite Trubisky's Bears losing 21-9 and performing statistically inferior to then-Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Robbins and CBS embraced what they acknowledged was likely an internet joke.

“It definitely wasn’t what we intended,” Robbins said. “But so what? You’re telling me people had fun watching this game and engaging with the game?

“Then to me, we did our job that day.”

Gilmer is betting NVP goes to a receiver in Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb or Deebo Samuel while Nevaeh-Green is rooting for Prescott.

Robbins envisions Prescott pulling the strings to dump slime on Cowboys head coach McCarthy, a 2022 twist on a coach’s Gatorade bath.

“Slime is for winners,” Robbins insists. “It’s Nick’s highest honor. It’s a celebratory thing.”

If McCarthy oversees his first playoff win as Cowboys coach, would he consent?

“I don’t even know what ‘slimed’ is,” he said Thursday. “You’re going to have to help me out here.

“Well, hey: anything for the children. I’ll just say that.”


Noah Eagle and Gabrielle Nevaeh Green Preview 2022 Nickelodeon's NFL Playoff Game (Exclusive)

The NFL playoffs begin this weekend, and Nickelodeon will broadcast one of the wild card games. Last year, the network aired its first NFL game in its history with the wild card playoff matchup between the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints. This time around, Nickelodeon will air the San Francisco 49ers versus Dallas Cowboys matchup, and caught up with Noah Eagle and Gabrielle Nevaeh Green, who will call the game for Nickelodeon with Nate Burleson of CBS This Morning. They said this year's coverage will be much bigger that was it was last year.

"You can expect even more vivid content, and more vivid AR and virtual reality," Green told PopCulture. "There's going to be a huge blimp that goes around the stadium dropping virtual slime. It's Nickelodeon, so there's slime in our blood. There's slime in everything that we do. So instead of the end zone, we actually have the slime zone. So it's going to be more realistic and more visually appealing than last year, and it's going to be more fun."

Nickelodeon's broadcast of the game is more family-oriented as it gives kids an opportunity to learn more about the NFL and the game of football. This is the Eagle and Green were in the booth last year, and for Green, who stars in the Nickelodeon shows That Girl Lay Lay and All That, is taking what she learned last year and carrying into this year's game, which will air on Sunday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. ET.

"My job is really to be the voice of kids at home who don't really know about football, and teens who are interested in learning about the sports," Green said. "So it's Nate and Noah's job to be the pros and the experts. My job is just to be like, 'Hey, what do you call that play?' Or, 'What just happened?' So, learning from the first year and going into this year, this weekend is going to be so much fun. I basically learned that you just have to go with the flow. You have to just roll with the punches, and that's really what I'm best at, and I love pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and doing things that I normally wouldn't."

Eagle is an experienced play-by-play announced who is the radio the voice of the Los Angeles Clippers. Last year, Eagle joined CBS Sports' college football coverage and calls select college games on the CBS Sports Network. He's looking forward to Sunday's game due to the history of the 49ers and Cowboys and the number of times they have faced each other in the playoffs.

"This matchup's historic in terms of NFL relevance, and these are two franchises that are built into the fabric of the history of the league," Eagle told PopCulture. "So, for them both trying to get back to that glory, which they've now missed out on for decades at this point, for Dallas, America's team, it felt like for a large portion of this season, this could be the year for them, and it still does."

Eagle continued: "The history is huge and everything that these two teams have been through together is certainly going to be there, and we're going to do our best to try to let the young audience know exactly what's at stake, and how much it does mean to both fan bases, franchises, etc. But at the same time, the precedent is absolutely massive, and for both these teams, a chance to relive those glory days, for us to take those personalities, to Nickify them, as we call it, to utilize all of the abilities that we have."


Inside Nickelodeon's NFL Playoff Broadcast Interview with Noah Eagle and Gabrielle Nevaeh Green | Den of Geek

For the second straight year, Nickelodeon, along with help of CBS Sports, will be broadcasting an NFL Wild Card game on their network. This year’s slime-filled, kid-focused event will be taking place this Sunday at 4:30pm EST at AT&T Stadium as the Dallas Cowboys take on the San Francisco 49ers. With former NFL wide receiver, Nate Burleson, play-by-play extraordinaire, Noah Eagle, and Nickelodeon star, Gabrielle Nevaeh Green in the booth, joined along with another Nickelodeon star, Young Dylan, on the sideline, it’s sure to be blast of a production that you won’t want to miss.

Den of Geek’s own Colby Olson and Jack McMullen sat down with Noah Eagle and Gabrielle Nevaeh Green for an interview ahead of the game. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the game between the Saints and Bears last season had just 3,000 fans in attendance. The excitement is building for this weekend, as the crowd at AT&T Stadium will likely exceed 100,000 screaming fans. Watch for Noah and Gabrielle’s full thoughts on covering this historic game and their predictions for who will take home Nickelodeon’s NVP Award.

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