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Bob Diaco’s Nickelodeon vision finally comes true

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The former UConn coach was ahead of his time.

Bob Diaco and the UConn Huskies will be resting easy at 1-0 with a chance to watch many future opponents today.
Bob Diaco and the UConn Huskies will be resting easy at 1-0 with a chance to watch many future opponents today.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Diaco was called a lot of things during his tenure as head coach of UConn football. Visionary was never one of them.

Outside of openly praising his most famous creation, the ConFLiCT, we have been pretty hard on Diaco here at The UConn Blog. As a head coach, he was terrible and while the press conferences were arguably worse, they were also the most interesting thing about UConn football in the last decade. The man was not afraid to try and talk his way out of things, even if what came out made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

So, when Diaco unleashed this gem during the middle of his most famous press conference, no one really took him seriously. After defending the creation of the ConFLiCT, Diaco opened up his galaxy brain to the public and explained another one of his ideas:

“I got all kinds of ideas on networks. Let’s target 6-year-olds to 16-year-olds, how about that? Eventually they’re going to be 18-35,” Diaco said in the midst of a 10-minute monologue. “Let’s broadcast our games on Nickelodeon. Who owns that, Viacom? Let’s create some real intrigue.”

Diaco was, understandably, laughed at for his Nickelodeon remarks, along with many, many other parts of that press conference. After Diaco was eventually fired and moved on to various defensive analyst and coordinator positions, his incredible quotes and antics faded back into obscurity.

That changed this past week, when Michael David Smith found this interesting tidbit in the NFL’s announcement of two new playoff games, which were agreed upon by the owners this week.

Somehow, it was not an early April Fool’s Day prank, but rather an actual decision made my multiple billion-dollar companies. Football will truly be broadcast on Nickelodeon. Soon enough, fans can watch their football on the same network as Spongebob Squarepants. Some people might call it revolutionary, but for many UConn (or ConFLiCT) fans, this idea was all Diaco’s, nearly four years in the making.

In all seriousness, the idea does make some sense by tailoring a big game broadcast to the next generation of NFL fans. But it’s still ridiculous at its core — Nickelodeon starts the morning TV slate off with Bubble Guppies at 8 a.m. ET, followed by an hour of Paw Patrol at 9 a.m. Less than 12 hours later, there will be 22 grown men bashing their brains in on the gridiron. Seems weird but there’s likely money to be made, so both the NFL and Nickelodeon probably make out alright in the long run.

Regardless of how the broadcast actually goes, it’s another feather in Diaco’s cap, right next to the publicity of the ConFLiCT. And while Diaco has gotten his career back on track — he accepted the job as Purdue’s defensive coordinator this offseason — he’ll hear about the ConFLiCT and his Nickelodeon ideas for as long as he’s around the game. But if his coaching (or his press conferences) go off the rails once again, he might have a decent chance at making as network executive.