The Nickelodeon Super Bowl booth, featuring Noah Eagle, Nate Burleson, SpongeBob Squarepants, and Patrick Star. The Nickelodeon Super Bowl booth. (Nickelodeon.)

Sunday is hectic for everyone covering Super Bowl LVIII, but it’s going to be particularly hectic for Nate Burleson. Burleson is in his usual analyst role on CBS’ The NFL Today pregame (extended to four hours this time around), halftime, and postgame show, but he’s also serving as a color commentator for the Nickelodeon alternate broadcast. And he’ll be getting up early the next morning to play his usual role as co-host of CBS Mornings, but doing that from Vegas while the other anchors are back in New York (after doing shows in Vegas Thursday and Friday). On a media call this week, Burleson said that it’s going to be a jam-packed day, but he’s excited for it.

“It’s going to be a busy day. The priority is The NFL Today, obviously; I’m excited for what we have leading up to the big game. As soon as we are done, I have to hop in the phone booth like Superman and change my outfit and be a little more kid-appropriate.

“Then I’ll be calling the game with Noah Eagle, who’s a chip off the old block, and a bunch of Nickelodeon characters. Then, right before halftime, I’ll head over to the set with the big fellas, and then I’ll do that again right at the end of the game so we can start our post-game show.

“And then, a few hours later, I have to wake up early for CBS Mornings, because I’ll be co-anchoring the show from Vegas, so fingers crossed we’ll be able to land a player or coach. It’s going to be tough to convince someone who’s just been out partying all night to wake up at 3 a.m. for an early-morning hit. Gayle [King] and Tony [Dokoupil] from CBS Mornings will fly back at the end of the game so they can be live in New York.”

Burleson said there’s a different mindset to his NFL Today work and to his Nickelodeon work, which will come alongside play-by-play voice Noah Eagle and cartoon characters SpongeBob Squarepants and Patrick Star.

“As far as the mindset, yeah, there’s a switch. I’m definitely going to have to learn how to turn it off and turn it on as I’m jumping from booth to booth.”

He has one specific worry there.

“One of my worst fears would be to forget what’s said on one, joining the big fellas on NFL Today like ‘Hey, let’s give a shoutout to SpongeBob,’ and JB [James Brown] looks at me like ‘Bro, not here, wrong booth.’ So that’s pretty much the worst thing that can happen, but I’m pretty sure the crew would make fun of me and we’ll move on.”

It was a busy week for Burleson with CBS Mornings work in addition to all of his NFL on CBS and Nickelodeon preparations. But he said he appreciates that challenge.

“It’s fun. It’s somewhat challenging. As much as CBS has been preparing for the Super Bowl, I’ve been preparing for this week, knowing that it’s going to come and that it’s going to be one of the busiest weeks of my life. I’m thankful for the opportunity.”

He said he’s made sure to restrict his off-air activities to set himself up for on-air success amidst all these broadcasting commitments.

“This is the first Super Bowl ever that I’ve declined every party and every opportunity to go show up and high five and get a check for talking about football. The priority is making sure that we do our part. And I’m just a small part of it.”

Burleson said he’s excited to be part of the overall Paramount Global focus on this event, which has seen a ton of their shows broadcasting live from Las Vegas.

“From news to sports to entertainment, Paramount to CBS to Nickelodeon, we have a ton of talent and I’m just a piece of the puzzle. So it’s going to be a long day, but a fun day. And I’m going to leave my fingerprints on the game as much as I can.”

When asked if he prefers working with his NFL Today counterparts or SpongeBob Squarepants characters, Burleson was diplomatic, but funny.

“Well, I’ll tell you what, Phil Simms and Boomer [Esiason], they go at each other like SpongeBob and Patrick, so it’s equally as entertaining.”

On the Nickelodeon front, Shawn Robbins, the coordinating producer of Super Bowl LVIII on Nickelodeon for CBS Sports, said earlier this week on a separate media call that Burleson is key to what they’re trying to do.

“Philosophically for us, it’s that co-viewing experience. How do we deliver the game where everybody finds it enjoyable across the board? How do we create teaching moments? It’s our announcers. It all starts with Nate Burleson in the booth, and Noah Eagle, of course.

“But Nate, the way he delivers, how he speaks to the audience he’s speaking to. He’s a different guy when, he’s obviously done NFL games, he’s obviously done the The NFL Today studio. But it really starts with Nate and how he delivers this to the kids. He really is the starting point in what we’re doing.”

And CBS sports chair Sean McManus said on another call Burleson’s versatility is key to what Paramount Global is doing here.

“Nate is going to be the busiest guy in Las Vegas. Not only is he doing four hours of pregame coverage for us on Super Bowl Sunday, then going up to the Nickelodeon booth to help call the first half of the Super Bowl for Nickelodeon, rush back downstairs to do halftime, then do the second half of the Nickelodeon game, come back downstairs to do the postgame show. He’s also one of the anchors of CBS Mornings, so he’ll be doing that during the week also. Nate is definitely earning his money on this one.”

On his CBS Mornings role specifically, which he’s had since 2021, Burleson said he really enjoys getting to work in that kind of role in addition to his NFL roles.

“It’s fulfilling, that’s for sure. I think these jobs that I have now, The NFL Today, CBS Mornings, and also NFL Slimetime, they’re demanding on the mind and body, but it is the most fulfilling set of jobs that I’ve ever had, and I truly do mean that.”

He said there are more challenges than usual juggling that role this week, though.

“Coming here, making sure football is the priority, I knew that that would be the case. But the moment that we found out CBS Mornings will have a presence here, in the studio, we’re sitting there during a commercial break, Gayle’s there, Tony’s there, and everyone’s all excited, ‘Yeah, we’re going to Vegas!’ And I’m like ‘D***, I’m waking up at 2 a.m. Thursday and Friday.”

But Burleson said proper scheduling lets him handle that.

“For me, it’s all about schedule and making sure I can fit everything in. And for the first time in my life, I have scheduled naps in my itinerary just so that I can be locked in.”

He said he also enjoys getting to talk to a wide cast of people.

“It’s good, though, to sit down with Patrick Mahomes, and also film NFL Slimetime for Nickelodeon and sit down with Keegan-Michael Key and that’s more of a CBS Mornings ask. There’s these opportunities for me to flex all these muscles.”

Burleson said being versatile was useful for him as a NFL player, and he’s stuck with that in his media career.

“As players, we all hear ‘The more you can do.’ And for some reason, I’ve never let go of that, and I apply it to my life now. So as much as some may see it as a challenge or somewhat exhausting, I look at it as an opportunity for me to show my value to the team.”

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.