CBS’ Nate Burleson might be the only person at the Super Bowl to get more air time than, Patrick Mahomes or any of the other star players in the game.
The network’s morning show, where Burleson is a co-host,. Burleson will also be an analyst on the Super Bowl pregame show and a commentator on Nickelodeon’s game broadcast.
Add in co-hosting Nickelodeon’s weekly “NFL Slimetime” show and the usual demands of, Burleson will not have much downtime.
“Sleep is a must, and we’ll pick our head up when the game is over. I never played in one, but I feel like this is kind of like my Super Bowl week. This will be the most demanding, physically and intellectually, but I’m up for the challenge,” Burleson said.
After an 11-year playing career, Burleson transitioned to television, first at NFL Network and then at CBS. He has been with CBS since 2017 when he joined “The NFL Today.”
Burleson has been on “CBS Mornings” since September 2021, but doing a morning show on Pacific time has its own challenges. Instead of waking up at 4 a.m., as Burleson typically does for a 7 a.m. Eastern start, he will have a 1:30 or 2 a.m. wake-up call since the morning show starts at 4 a.m. Pacific time.
That means Burleson will have to avoid most of the nighttime parties that will be taking place.
“It’s going to flip our schedules upside down completely, but I’m excited about what it’s going to mean for us to have a presence there,” he said. “I have committed to getting sleep between appearances, resting my body and preparing. This is Vegas and probably the easiest Super Bowl to party at. I think my hair would explode if I stayed up past midnight. I’ve already made my mind up that what people are going to Vegas for isn’t what I’m going to Vegas for.”
Burleson’s biggest challenge will be on Super Bowl Sunday and getting from the pregame set on the field to Section 101 at Allegiant Stadium, where Nickelodeon’s booth will be for the game broadcast.
Besides getting from one end of the stadium to the other, Burleson will change outfits before the kickoff on Nickelodeon.
Out of all the assignments Burleson has this week, the Nickelodeon game makes him the most excited. It will be the fifth time an NFL game has aired on Nickelodeon, but the biggest since this will be the first alternate broadcast of a Super Bowl.
Through enhanced graphics and advanced augmented reality, it will appear as if Burleson and announcer Noah Eagle are calling the game from “Bikini Bottom,” the undersea home of SpongeBob SquarePants. The broadcast will also feature SpongeBob and Patrick Star.
“We are going to immerse the viewer into this world. It’s a unique experience unlike any other, and it will set the bar,” he said.
Shawn Robbins, Nickelodeon’s coordinating producer for the Super Bowl, said that Burleson has been an integral part of the games’ viewing experience.
“It all starts with Nate and how he is delivering the game to the kids. He’s the starting point in what we are doing,” Robbins said.
Even though Burleson was hoping that the Detroit Lions, where he played from 2010-13, would have made the Super Bowl, he is nonetheless excited to see San Francisco and Kansas City meet for the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in five seasons.
Burleson missed on his preseason prediction of the Cincinnati Bengals reaching the Super Bowl, but he was correct about San Francisco getting to Vegas for the big game.
“The great thing about these two teams is that we have storylines for days,” he said. “Everyone tries to knock (San Francisco QB) Brock Purdy because he was the last pick in the draft, and he has so many talented players surrounding him. I look at him as the reason why all of this works. Of course, he has talent. Who doesn’t? But he is one of the most consistent QBs and has nerves of steal. He’s not a future star. He’s a star right now.
“And, of course, Kansas City. It’s a dynasty in the making with four Super Bowl appearances in five years. When Tom (Brady) left the game, I thought there was no way anybody would ever get close to his seven Super Bowl titles. There’s no way a quarterback can play long enough, let alone be good enough. And here we are with Patrick Mahomes. He has an opportunity for his third, and he’s a baby compared to how long Tom played.”