MLB Needs Weekly Nickelodeon Or Disney Game
By and large, the NFL having a playoff game on Nickelodeon was a massive success. When you looked at it, there really wasn’t anyone with a true negative thing to say about the game.
At my house, my son wasn’t as enamored with the graphics. As he put it, “It’s not really slime; it’s graphics.” However, he loved how great a job Nate Burleson did teaching the game.
Specifically, he said he thought Burleson did a great job explaining the red zone. With the fun graphics, he got a better understanding of the sport there. He also had fun with the other kid friendly things like the NVP.
Like me, he was also disappointed there was no slime. It seemed like a big missed opportunity, but based on what we saw, it should happen next year.
And it should happen again. As a parent, I liked being able to put my kid in front of a sporting event and not have to worry about the commercials. I also really thought they did an extraordinary job explaining the game while not pandering or condescending to the kids.
On another important note, I’m not a special needs parent, but seeing the reaction on social media, it was a success for those families as well:
My son loves @Nickelodeon but has never sat and watched a football game with me UNTIL today… I appreciate Nick introducing our kids to the game in a fun & entertaining way!! pic.twitter.com/Ofru2DfZbq
— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) January 10, 2021
My autistic son is absolutely glued to the @Nickelodeon simulcast of this Wild Card game. So, yeah, it’s great to see.
— Maury Brown (@BizballMaury) January 11, 2021
What the NFL did yesterday was truly remarkable. They need to be commended, and if you’re another league, they need to be replicated.
That goes double for baseball. We hear time and again people lament how kids aren’t following the game like their parents and grandparents. We hear about their difficulties attracting newer and younger fans.
Well, the NFL just gave it to them. They now have their template.
If you’re MLB, you should be more daring. This shouldn’t just be a single postseason game. Instead, they should have a game of the week with a children’s network.
Yesterday, we saw Nickelodeon could handle it. We also know MLB has a relationship with Disney by and through ESPN. It makes you wonder if they could instead opt to have a game on the Disney Channel.
As an aside, we know MLB and ESPN agreed to cancel the weekday games on Monday and Wednesday. Those are two days available right there to have the games.
Now, this is where people clamor for afternoon weekend games. That’s a mistake waiting to happen. At that time, parents are out with kids running to practice, games, recitals, birthday parties, and much more. The weekend afternoon is when kids are not at home.
And if they are home, they’re outside playing with their friends. They aren’t going to be cooped up in their living rooms when they can be outside playing or swimming.
No, the best time to do this is the weekday afternoon games. They could make the game start around 5:00 or 6:00 to make it a little more kid friendly. They could also do 7:00.
Whatever weekday time they choose, they need to find a way to make it work with a kid’s channel like Nickelodeon or Disney. They need to find broadcasters like Noah Eagle and Nate Burleson who do a great job explaining the game to kids.
We’re all aware of what a success the game was yesterday. Now, it’s up to MLB to make it a success for them and to grow the game.