On Thursday the NFL announced its official schedule for the 2020 football season — despite the fact that no one knows how that’s going to work or if it’s going to happen. While the NFL itself announces the games in a pretty straightforward way, the individual teams often get a little more creative. This year the Detroit Lions are hopping aboard the Animal Crossing: New Horizons bandwagon to let their fans know who they will be facing in each week of the season.
The video starts with Tom Nook introducing the team and the fact that we’re about to see their 2020 schedule, then it cuts to a villager wearing a Lions t-shirt. From there, we get a montage of in-game representations of each team.
Some of the in-game matchup announcements are pretty straight forward, like a giant stuffed bear for the Chicago Bears, or a villager dressed as a jungle cat for the Jacksonville Jaguars. But, for some of the teams, the Lions had to get a little more creative.
For the Arizona Cardinals, the villager gets a gift from “AZ” and when they open the present, it’s a neck tie — because the two teams tied when they played last season. For the week seven announcement the Lions’ villager goes to a tree and picks a peach and eats it, because the team is going to Georgia to play the Atlanta Falcons.
Despite the creativity from the Lions’ PR team, there were a few NFL teams that they couldn’t figure out a way to reference in-game. To show off their week four game against the Saints, they simply get a letter with the team’s logo. For week two, when the team plays the Packers, the Lions’ character and a friend just find a person in a Packer’s shirt and hit him with their nets. Even if those two examples are a little less complicated, the whole thing is still pretty impressive.
The Detroit Lions’ commitment to Animal Crossing players doesn’t stop just at this announcement either. Shortly after it went live, the team released their official designs for in-game apparel, including a Lions hat and jersey’s representing some of their star players like Matthew Stafford.
It’s worth noting that the team also released a second schedule announcement video that had nothing to do with Animal Crossing and instead mostly focused on ... actual animals. This video, while still pretty good, is a lot less fun and also at time of publishing has about 73K fewer views than the Animal Crossing announcement.
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