For the second year in a row, Nickelodeon is broadcasting an NFL Wild Card game. The first simulcast for kids of the CBS wild card game was hosted by Noah Eagle, Nate Burleson and Gabrielle Nevaeh Green and debuted during the Saints vs. Bears in the 2021 NFL playoffs.
The broadcast was well received, so the NFL and CBS picked it up for 2022. That means NFL fans will get to witness the NVP pick once again.
The NVP is Nickelodeon’s award given to the most valuable player in the wild card game. Fans vote for it, so the selection process can get chaotic as the Nickelodeon crowd leans toward the younger demographic.
Viewers saw the NVP selection go wrong last year. Will it happen again? Here’s everything you need to know about the 49ers-Cowboys pre-game prize on Nickelodeon.
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What is NVP?
NVP is an acronym for “Nickelodeon Valuable Player,” and originated as a prize given at the end of the NFL Wild Card game that airs on Nickelodeon. The trophy is awarded to the player chosen by the fans as the most valuable player of the match.
During the 2021 regular season, Nickelodeon began awarding a weekly NVP award as part of its “NFL Slimetime” show on Wednesday nights. That award is given to the NFL player with the best performance from the previous week, as voted on by fans. It’s not as prestigious as the single game NVP, but Patrick Mahomes still called it “one of the best trophies I’ve ever gotten” after winning the award with a five-TD performance in Week 10.
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Who has won the NVP?
The NVP has only been awarded for a single game once, as there was only one Nickelodeon broadcast before the 2022 NFL playoffs. That game, featuring the Saints and Bears, saw Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky bring home the honour. The fans chose him even though the Bears lost 21-9 and Trubisky threw for 199 yards and a touchdown.
As for the weekly “NFL Slimetime” NVP winners, the award has also been dominated by quarterbacks and offensive playmakers. Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase was the only player to win the award twice during the season.
Here is a complete list of NVP winners during the 2021 NFL season.
- Week 1: QB Kyler Murray, Cardinals
- week 2: QB Tom Brady, Buccaneers
- week 3: K Justin Tucker, Ravens
- week 4: QB Dak Prescott, Cowboys
- week 5: QB Josh Allen, Bills
- week 6: RB Derrick Henry, Titans
- week 7: WR Ja’Marr Chase, Bengals
- week 8: QB Mike White, Jets
- week 9: DE Josh Allen, Jaguars
- week 10: QB Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
- week 11: RB Jonathan Taylor, Colts
- week 12: RB Leonard Fournette, Buccaneers
- week 13: QB Justin Herbert, Chargers
- week 14: TE George Kittle, 49ers
- week 15: DT Christian Wilkins, Dolphins
- week 16: QB Joe Burrow, Bengals
- week 17: WR Ja’Marr Chase, Bengals
- week 18: WR Deebo Samuel, 49ers
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How did Mitch Trubisky earn NVP?
Simply put, Trubisky took home 49 percent of the viewers’ vote as the “NVP” against the Saints. Viewers chose him as the winner, and he garnered far more votes than the two Saints defenders vying for the award.
The irony, of course, is that Trubisky didn’t play very well during the match. He threw for 199 yards and a touchdown while helping lead the Bears to a 21-9 loss. By comparison, Drew Brees threw for 265 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
Naturally, the internet had quite a bit of fun with this, and that included the popular NFL Pro Football Reference Stats Website. They added the NVP award to Trubisky’s stat page in the awards section, right next to his only Pro Bowl appearance.
To his credit, Trubisky took the award in stride. He laughed as he greeted him during training camp with his new team, the Bills.
“They just told me and I was like, ‘Oh great. Is there a trophy or something?’” Trubisky said, wired bears. “It was hard, because it was emotional, the season had just ended, we lost the game. It was a tough game, really. And they say, ‘You won something.’ I thought they were just playing with me. I was like, ‘What? The NVP sounds like MVP. There is no way. You can’t win an MVP with a game like that. ‘No, the NVP…Nickelodeon Value Person, I guess.’ And I was like, ‘How do I qualify for that?’ ‘I don’t know, they voted for you.’ ‘Okay, thanks, I guess.’”
We will soon see if the viewers choose a player on the winning side in 2022.
MORE: What happened to Mitchell Trubisky?
49ers, Cowboys who could win NVP
There are several solid NVP candidates for the Cowboys-49ers game in 2022. Here’s a rundown of the top contenders.
QB that Prescott. Quarterbacks will always be a threat to win NVP. The 49ers have a weak secondary and Prescott is a young, popular and prolific quarterback. If the Cowboys play well, expect them to draw a lot of attention.
RB Ezequiel Elliott. Elliott hasn’t had a great year, but he’s a big name that many young people in the Nickelodeon audience will recognize. He’ll turn heads if he can get to the end zone.
LB Micah Parsons. If a defensive player wins NVP, Parsons seems like the best bet. He is a dynamic, do-it-all playmaker and was a first-team All-Pro this year.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Boys love quarterbacks. If Trubisky can win NVP, so can Garoppolo.
W.R. Deebo Samuel. Samuel is another versatile playmaker and has already won a weekly NVP award. You’ll probably get a lot of touches in this game, so it’ll give you as good an opportunity as any to win it.
you george kittle. Kittle is another weekly NVP winner and is one of the most dynamic tight ends in the game. He and Samuel represent the 49ers’ best chance of beating the Cowboys in this important category.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.