2020 NFL Schedule Release

Two years into the schedule release video trend and we’ve already got two clear leaders.

Jim Rome
May 08, 2020 - 10:12 am
Saquon Barkley

USA Today

Categories: 

There are few days more overhyped on the calendar than NFL schedule release day. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: everyone already knows which teams are playing each other this season, so NFL Schedule Release Day is really just NFL What Day Is That Thing Happening… Day.

And the only thing worse than when schedule release day is when people start dissecting it and then making predictions. And this isn’t a new thing. This isn’t something that people started doing this year because of the pandemic. This is something people have always done.

If you want to tell me that it matters when a team’s bye week is, I might listen. And if you want to tell me it matters when a team’s Thursday night game is, I might listen. But other than that, I’m out. Don’t waste my time.

And yet somehow, in May, people think that it matters that they’ve got the Giants going 5-11 or 6-10. Here’s what matters when it comes to the Giants schedule – they’ve got two primetime games. SOMEHOW. SOME WAY. AND IT MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL.

I really like Saquon Barkley. He is a superstar. But two primetime games for a team that’s averaging 4 wins a year seems like TWO, TOO MANY.  It seems like a really heavy price for the rest of us to pay. The hell did we do to deserve THAT??

Give at least one of those to the Buffalo Bills so that they can be tied for the most in the league. Right now, they’ve got four and they are four good ones: KC, San Francisco, New England, and Pittsburgh. And as good as that is, it’s still not enough. And there won’t be nearly enough tables in Buffalo this year.

And there aren’t nearly enough primetime games for Cleveland. America needs to see America’s Team. Period. And yes, I’m still riding with Baker and the fellas. 

And no, it’s not news that Tampa Bay has five primetime games. Of course they do. When you look at how hard Tom Brady is working to keep his name in the news, you think the league is going to bury him with a bunch of 1pm Eastern kickoffs? Hell no.

And no, I’m not really into hearing the detailed breakdowns of the fact that the Colts open up by only facing one playoff team in their first seven games. Sure…That could be something. And it could be nothing at all.

Just like I know that the Raiders have six kickoffs at 10am Pacific. Cool. You’ve got four months to prepare for them. Go do it.

And Does it matter that the Jets open up with the Bills and 49ers? Probably not.

What I’m saying is schedule release day has always been boring, overblown and overhyped. Even the league know this: so, last year, the teams started to shake it up. Last year, teams started dropping videos of the schedule announcements and some of them were pretty damn good.

There was Baltimore’s Monster Truck Rally announcement.

And the Cowboys ASMR announcement.

So the bar was raised for this year. Unfortunately, a lot of teams slammed IMPALED THEMSELVES ON THAT BAR this year.

I get it. This is a really unusual year. The schedule itself comes with some question marks. And everyone is working from home.

But man… some of these videos sucked.  Cincinnati apparently really loved that clip of Joe Burrow smoking a cigar after the national championship game, because they went with a cigar-themed announcement. Every team was cigar band on a cigar.

Uh, okay. Cool first draft, fellas. When are you coming with the real announcement?

The Detroit Lions went with a Planet Earth theme. Get it, because they’re the Lions!

And this thing goes on for more than eight minutes. Their schedule release video is longer than the highlights of the Matt Patricia Era.

The Patriots, in true Patriot fashion, just released a still image of their schedule. Any other year, that would be the most tired thing ever, but this year, it was actually better than a bunch of the actual videos.

Because the Bears went with some really weird animated thing that’s right on brand for them. And if their on the field product is anywhere near as lame as their draft video, it’s going to be another wasted season in Chicago whenever it starts:

A number of teams went with tributes to medical personnel or directly addressing the current crisis. Which makes sense.

But overall, even if I’m grading on a curve, there wasn’t much to get excited from the schedule release videos overall.

A couple teams went with a channel changing motif to capture both their schedule and the fact that everyone is at home watching TV right now. The Eagles did it fairly well with their mascot flipping through clips on a tablet.

VEEP for Washington, Curb Your Enthusiasm for the Rams, and wait for it, an extremely tired Joe Exotic reference for the Bengals, but they redeemed themselves with The Wire for their week 6 game against Baltimore.

Baltimore followed up the Monster Truck Rally announcement with an incredible Game Show Mashup announcement.

Price is Right, Double Dare, Password, Trivial Pursuit, Family Feud, it was all there.

But leave it to the Carolina Panthers to come up with a masterpiece, which sums up the experience for a lot of people right now. The caption is: Bored in the house but counting the days until our Sunday Best

And it’s a day in the life video, starting with the first matchup being spelled out in Alpha Bits cereal in milk.

I’ll even overlook the played Tiger King reference in Week 2 because they bounced right back with a clever tiktok announcement for another matchup and a fever dream that includes Dennis Rodman’s strategy for rebounds.

Two years into the schedule release video trend and we’ve already got two clear leaders: Baltimore and Carolina are getting it done, even in challenging circumstances. Everyone else is chasing. And still has a helluva lot of work to do to run down the two big dawgs.