Maybe Nickelodeon should have started the NFL Wild Card playoffs five seconds late. Or did the producers think the microphones might not pick up players swearing on the field?
The kid-friendly broadcast was fun (and we’ll have more about that in a separate article), usually well received by fans, taking it in the spirit in which CBS intends. Mucus cannons firing at touchdowns, pulsating green and orange lines below, SpongeBob appearing between the poles when trying for field purposes, and so on.
But just before halftime, the on-site audio was a little more mature than Nickelodeon viewers (especially parents) would have liked. Chicago Bears successor Cordarel Patterson was called to be pushed out of bounds and then run to the sidelines without making an immediate effort to return to the field. This provoked a punishment for unsportsmanlike conduct and an insecure child reaction from Patterson:
Cordarel Patterson drops an f-bomb on Nickelodeon. pic.twitter.com/e1podNfVOC
– Josh Hill (@jdavhill) January 10, 2021
Oh, that’s an f-bomb, kids! You can’t do that on TV! It is not a Nickelodeon broadcast aimed at children, ie.
Neither game announcer Noah Eagle nor analyst Nate Burlson tried to explain this, as there were many rules and plays in the first half of Nickelodeon’s broadcast for young and perhaps first-time viewers unfamiliar with the NFL.
With no – or very few – fans in the stands making sports events quieter than usual, even with the noise of the crowd, the sound of the pitch is picked up by the microphones near the pitch more than usual. So the comments of players, coaches and employees, which would normally be muted, make the show. And they are not always suitable for prime time.
This probably happened here, although Patterson was close enough to the employee that he may have been picked up by his microphone. Not a word about whether Patterson was asked to wash his mouth with soap from Nickelodeon and CBS managers at halftime.