The sports world saw something completely different on Sunday when Nickelodeon presented a kids-focused broadcast of a National League Football game. What would something like that look like if the Colorado Rockies tried it in 2021?
Let’s face it … Major League Baseball needs to reinvigorate a new generation about the joy of baseball. Having young fans engage with the game would be good for all of the teams involved, including the Colorado Rockies.
What we saw on Sunday afternoon with Nickelodeon bringing a sports broadcast geared for kids to television was nothing short of amazing. The football game between the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints was explained by the announcers in a way that resonated with kids (with everything from commentator Nate Burleson using several opportunities to explain something in relation what happens at recess to having some of the football players compared to Nickelodeon stars). From the slime cannons when a touchdown was scored to graphics of the players with Krabby Patties on their heads, the entire game seemed to be a tip of the cap to the kids who were watching on a channel they consumed often.
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Could something like that work with baseball? It’s possible, and here’s hoping it’s something that is considered sooner than later.
Sure, football and baseball are different games played at completely different speeds … but it could still work. How? Here are some thoughts on what would might be fun to watch.
We know that all of the Colorado Rockies game will be broadcast by AT&T SportsNet in 2021, and I’m certainly not asking the usual announcing crew to transform for one game into kid-focused analysts. Finding announcers who can really connect with the younger audience would be key to its success.
However, find an announcing crew that can explain baseball to kids (who may or may not have experience with the game) and are having fun doing it and you’ll provide a good experience. The key is that the crew needs to have fun and remember they’re talking to kids. They also need to be good with the Nickelodeon references on the fly. I’m guessing that Spilly and Jenny could have a ball doing this.
Find some of the players in that game who are willing to give some quick tips to the kids throughout the contest in the same way that Young Sheldon explained some of the NFL rules on Sunday.
There’s no way that Nolan Arenado wouldn’t share some fielding advice (check this out from Arenado’s early days and think about him explaining fielding on a kid’s level) or Charlie Blackmon wouldn’t answer questions from kids about everything from his beard to hitting a fastball. The answers would be fantastic and be an opportunity to teach kids some fundamentals of baseball they can use.
Just a guess, but if Larry Walker can wear a SpongeBob shirt when talking about being enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame, he wouldn’t mind sharing some baseball tips with kids either.
Have the on-field challenges sponsored by Double Dare and have the loser of the challenge slimed (virtually, of course). Sorry, Bud Black, the runner was safe … and here comes the slime!
Of course, turn the Coors Field fountains into slime fountains when the Rockies hit a home run.
Talk about what it means to play at altitude and what it does to the baseball versus at sea level. Talk to the Rockies training staff about what it takes to keep the players eating right and keeping proper nutrition for optimum performance, whether you’re an athlete or a kid.
I ended up watching the entire Nickelodeon broadcast of the Saints-Bears game because it was unique and different. With 162 games each season, wouldn’t it be cool to see a couple that looked nothing like the other 160 in terms of TV production?
What would you want to see in a Nickelodeon-style broadcast? Let us know in the comments section below.