If you don’t obsessively follow the NFL, then you might have missed its announcement of the 2019 season’s full schedule. Arriving just ahead of the NFL Draft, the schedule drop has become an opportunity for individual teams to rally their fan bases. In recent years, some teams have been creative with how they elevate their schedule reveals above the rest. I’m here to announce that, for 2019, the Carolina Panthers are the undisputed winner.
In the Panthers’ announcement video, each entry in the 17-week schedule is announced in the style of a classic video game. The gag is incredibly well-crafted, with NFL players and team logos rendered in both 2D and 3D art styles for the various games. The video doesn’t explicitly name the references. Some are obvious, like Pitfall! and NBA Jam. But others are a little more obscure. I’ve listed each game reference by each week and opponent.
Week 1: Los Angeles Rams — California Games
Week 2: Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Pitfall!
Week 3: Arizona Cardinals — Cruis’n USA
Week 4: Houston Texans — Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
Week 5: Jacksonville Jaguars — Madden
Week 6: Tampa Bay Buccaneers — FIFA
Week 7: bye — Halo: Combat Evolved
Week 8: San Francisco 49ers — The Oregon Trail
Week 9: Tennessee Titans — NBA Jam
Week 10: Green Bay Packers — WWF No Mercy
Week 11: Atlanta Falcons — Pokémon Go
Week 12: New Orleans Saints — GoldenEye 007
Week 13: Washington — Super Mario Kart
Week 14: Atlanta Falcons — Pac-Man
Week 15: Seattle Seahawks — Sonic the Hedgehog
Week 16: Indianapolis Colts — Words With Friends
Week 17: New Orleans Saints — Mortal Kombat 2
I formally give the Runner-Up Award to the Cleveland Browns, who put together the rare AOL goof that doesn’t elicit a protracted groan.