Cowboys vs. 49ers Preview: Keys to the Nickelodeon Matchup

On Super Wild Card Sunday 2022, the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers face off with hopes of making it to the Divisional Round and, eventually, making a Super Bowl appearance. This game will also be the second annual game to be simulcasted on Nickelodeon.

Last year’s Wild Card matchup between the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears the was first iteration of this now tradition of the NFL on Nickelodeon. With a 21-9 victory for the Saints, a high bar was set for the Nickelodeon Wild Card broadcast, and there are great expectations with this matchup, as well.

What will be in store for this year’s broadcast? Here are a list of hopes, predictions, and expectations for the Nickelodeon simulcast:

  • Graphics: As part of the broadcast, Nickelodeon creates video highlight packages during the game, inserting fun graphics. Expect a video package with googly eyes on Jimmy Garoppolo, speed lines on an Ezekiel Elliott run, and Spongebob Squarepants‘ giant face in the background of a field goal.
  • Slime Zone: There can’t be discussion about graphics without mentioning the Slime Zone. The Slime Zone is Nickelodeon’s version of the end zone. Whenever either team scores a touchdown, virtual cannons are placed in the corners of the end zone and shoot slime in the air. In last year’s game, there were 4 touchdowns, including a touchdown pass to Chicago’s Jimmy Graham as the game clock hit zero, ending the game with slime sent flying. With Dallas and San Francisco’s offenses, the slime cannons should go off numerous times throughout the game.
  • On-Field Incidents: During last year’s game, Bears wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson was caught dropping an F-bomb on a hot mic after being called for a penalty. Although it is entertaining to think of an accidental F-bomb being said on a children’s network, this year’s broadcast will hopefully be free of cursing.
  • Sliming: Last year, New Orleans head coach Sean Payton was covered in the patented green slime in the locker room after the game. He was the only person to be slimed, despite sideline reporter Lumpkin carrying around a bucket of slime throughout the broadcast. This year, look for a player or coach to get slimed on the field.
  • NVP: The Nickelodeon Valuable Player, or NVP, is awarded to the player that fans vote to be the best player of the game. Last year’s NVP was awarded to Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, earning 49 percent of the fan vote despite losing the game. During the game, Dan Katz, or “Big Cat,” from Barstool Sports and the podcast Pardon My Take, led a Twitter campaign to vote for Trubisky with the hashtag #Mitch4NVP trending on Twitter, leading to a virtual stuffing of the ballot box.

Who will win the game? Who will get slimed? Who will win the NVP? The Cowboys and 49ers kick off at 4:30 p.m. ET on Nickelodeon.

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