During Sunday’s AFC Championship Game on CBS, the network rolled out two new ads for its new Paramount+ streaming service, which is rebranding from CBS All Access. And lost among all the football action was CBS NFL analyst Bill Cowher being mean to Dora the Explorer!
In the first Paramount+ ad, CBS personalities such as Survivor’s Jeff Probst and The Late Late Show’s James Corden were seen trekking up the iconic Paramount mountain, presumably to reach the summit and find the new ViacomCBS platform which will also offer content like CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery, MTV’s Jersey Shore and Beavis and Butthead, and Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer.
But in the campaign’s second ad, the former Pittsburgh Steelers coach and current analyst on CBS’ NFL coverage and The NFL Today pregame show takes issue with the animated child adventurer leading their expedition with Map, the talking map who provides guidance to Dora, her backpack, Boots, and Tico.
As Patrick Stewart (of CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Picard) narrates to the audience, “a leader emerges.” But Cowher, accustomed to control on an NFL sideline and team facility, apparently doesn’t care for somebody else taking the reins of leadership for their crew and throws the red challenge flag NFL coaches use to dispute rulings on the field.
“Whoa, whoa — hold on. Who made you the leader?” challenges Cowher. “Just cuz you have a ‘talking map’? I got a talking clipboard.”
Cowher then holds up a clipboard and coaches’ play call sheet to his face, obscuring him saying in a kid’s voice, “Coach Cowher is the best. We should follow him. Whoo hoo!”
DJ Khaled, Tom Selleck from CBS’ Blue Bloods and Star Trek: Discovery‘s Captain Pike (Anson Mount) look on with disbelief and disapproval. How can the coach pick on little Dora? Upon seeing that his attempted coup has failed among the crew, Cowher relents and cedes leadership to Dora.
What would Nate Burleson, Cowher’s NFL Today colleague and star analyst of Nickelodeon’s NFL Wild Card Playoff game broadcast, think of the coach bullying Dora the Explorer? Based on his approach of using analogies to relate to the younger viewership for that kids-themed telecast, Burleson might compare this spat to something that needs to be settled out by the bike racks after school.
Cowher might need to watch his back, however. Swiper could come out of nowhere and swipe Cowher’s clipboard and play sheet. Swiper, no swiping! Then what would the coach be left with to lead the expedition other than his iconic jaw and trademark grimace?
Paramount+ launches March 4. Hopefully, Cowher and Dora resolve their differences by then, even if DJ Khaled or Tom Selleck need to mediate the conversation.