How an Unlikely Idaho Celebrity Will Be the Center of Attention on Super Bowl Sunday
Last year, more than 115 million Americans dropped what they were doing to watch the Super Bowl. This year? Thanks to the media buzz surrounding Travis Kelce’s romance with the biggest pop star, that number will probably jump even higher.
If Taylor Swift does manage to pull off traveling from her Eras Tour show in Tokyo to Las Vegas for the game, you know that CBS won’t be able to resist showing her when Kelce or his Kansas City Chiefs teammates make a big play. That said, Swift will be shown less than an unlikely celebrity from little old Rupert, Idaho!
Nickelodeon to Show First Ever “Alternate” Super Bowl Broadcast for Kids
It’s been a few years since Nickelodeon aired its very first NFL Football game geared toward kids. The idea was the brainchild of Sean McManus, the chairman of CBS Sports, who wanted to branch out and reach a younger audience. McManus wanted the broadcast to maintain the integrity of the game, but be something fun that both adult football fans and kids could enjoy and so “NFL on Nickelodeon” was born during the 2021 Wild Card playoff game between the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears.
After four fun games, Nickelodeon is producing their own broadcast of the Super Bowl showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers. It can be seen through regular TV providers like DirecTV and DISH. The game is also part of the line-up for Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV.
Idaho Legend Joins Nickelodeon Super Bowl Broadcast
Of course, no Nickelodeon sports broadcast would be complete without the dynamic duo of Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick Star. They’ll offer commentary during they game. That’s where the Idaho tie comes in! Patrick’s character is voiced by Bill Fagerbakke, a Rupert, Idaho native. It’s a cool opportunity for Fagerbakke, who grew up playing football.
According to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Fagerbakke was quite the high school football star while attending Minico High School. He was heavily recruited but ultimately decided to stay in state and go play football for the Vandals. Fagerbakke blew out his knee during his second season at the University of Idaho and decided it was time to move on from football.
While many of Fagerbakke’s television credits are for his voice work, he did appear as Assistant Coach “Dauber” Dybinski alongside Craig T. Nelson in 199 episodes of Coach from 1989-1997. His character was loosely based on a Vandals assistant coach named Tuna.
He’s been voicing Spongebob’s loveable, but aloof, best friend since 1999. His love of the character and love of football finally came together during one of Nickelodeon’s NFL broadcasts in 2022. Patrick was one of the analysts for the Christmas Day 2022 game between the Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos which provided us with one of the funniest interception calls of all time. (Sorry, Russell Wilson. This was epic.)
We’re not sure how we went all these years without realizing that the voice of Patrick Star was from Idaho, but we certainly won’t ever forget it!
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Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart