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CBS Hits Home Run With Nickelodeon Broadcast of NFL Playoff Game: TRAINA THOUGHTS

1. On last week's SI Media Podcast, New York Post sports columnist Andrew Marchand and I discussed CBS's decision to simulcast Sunday's Bears-Saints playoff game on Nickelodeon.

My take was that the telecast didn't make any sense because kids these days don't even watch linear television. 

Well, I'm an idiot because that take was so bad and so dumb. Whether it was CBS's intention or not, the Nickelodeon telecast was a huge success on social media. But it wasn't a hit because it appealed to young kids. Rather, it appealed to older people who enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane. It also appealed to people who want more lightheartedness in their football broadcasts.

The booth of Noah Eagle, Nate Burleson and 15-year-old Gabrielle Nevaeh Green did an outstanding job with its assignment. And especially for Eagle and Burleson, that assignment was much more difficult than you'd imagine. It was tricky to find a balance between calling the game and explaining things to a younger audience in real time. 

Eagle, who sounded exactly like his dad, Ian, when he raised his voice for big calls, sounded like he'd been calling NFL games for years. Smooth, knowledgable, no mistakes. It won't be long before he has a job with CBS or Fox on Sunday afternoons in the fall and winter.

Burleson, who was already a star thanks to his work on CBS's pregame show and NFL Network's Good Morning Football, had shown he'd be a great game analyst during the few games he worked in the preseason and on NFL Network. So it's not surprising he hit a home run Sunday.

Burleson bounced back and forth between giving the "regular" football fan solid analysis of what was happening on the field and teaching the youngsters tuning in everything they needed to know about the rules, the plays and the strategy. His tone and approach were perfect.

CBS using Young Sheldon star Iain Armitage to pop up on screen to explain penalties was a very nice touch.

The graphics were fun.

SpongeBob took over the goal posts.

But the gimmick that really sent viewers into a frenzy, was the use of Nickelodeon's famous green slime after a touchdown.

Even Saints coach Sean Payton got into the action after the game, fulfilling his promise to get slimed if New Orleans beat Chicago.

Now, only a monster would criticize children, so we won't belabor the point that not everything worked out. We'll just leave this here instead.

While the reaction to the Nickelodeon telecast was overwhelmingly positive on social media, I don't know how that will translate into TV ratings. And I don't know if it makes financial sense for CBS to air a game on Nickelodeon every week during the regular season, but they should absolutely do this more often.

CBS and every other network that airs the NFL should also recognize viewers are desperate for less-stuffy telecasts. 

There's a very fine line between good and bad when it comes to using gimmicks. Coming up with ones that work is a challenge, and when they fail, it's ugly (Hello, Booger McFarland's crane!). But one thing that always seems to work is nostalgia. 

2. Speaking of nostalgia, during the Bears-Saints game, I threw out this tweet.

I had absolutely no idea so many people would react, and I definitely underestimated the number of people who watched Nickelodeon's You Can't Do That On Television back in the '80s, but it was a pleasant surprise and made my day. 

Sadly, clips are few and far between on YouTube, but here's a great compilation of the show's famous catchphrases.

3. Baker Mayfield had the quote of the day Sunday after the Browns beat the Steelers.

4. Steve Kerr revealed he once fined Drake for causing Stephen Curry and Draymond Green to be late for a team flight.

5. Last week's SI Media Podcast was recorded Wednesday afternoon, before the disturbing events at the U.S. Capitol.

The episode features interviews with New York Post sports media columnist Andrew Marchand and reporter Armen Keteyian, who is an executive producer on HBO's upcoming Tiger Woods documentary, which I reviewed in Thursday's Traina Thoughts.

Topics I discussed with Marchand include Boomer Esiason filling in for Tony Romo, an update on Jim Nantz's contract situation with CBS, a problem for Fox's college football pregame show, Tom Rinaldi leaving ESPN for Fox, ESPN getting fooled by a fake Adam Schefter story and much more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.

6. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: If you saw "Goodfellas" trending on Twitter this morning, this is why.

7. SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: Shoutout to my former SI Media Podcast producer, Lou Pellegrino, who saw this tweet:

... and immediately texted me this video.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.