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The Lions Used ‘Animal Crossing’ To Announce Their 2020 Schedule

Schedule day in the NFL this year is a bit disappointing depending on your perspective. To those fearing the worst for our general return to normalcy, knowing the 17-week NFL schedule that might not happen as expected as a strange bit of fan fiction betraying how we live in reality.

To those who want hope beyond rationality, though, schedule day is an exciting chance to visualize your team’s sterling record as you simulate the upcoming football campaign and your path to Super Bowl glory. And some teams truly do go all-out when it comes to announcing it these days. Take the Detroit Lions, for example, whose social team has certainly spent a lot of time in Animal Crossing: New Horizons to make some delightful jokes and references to the 16 games the Lions hope to play this season.

Each week on the schedule features something different happening in Animal Crossing, my favorite of which is using Blathers’ disdain for bugs and insects to disparage Washington.

Detroit Lions on Twitter

Other fun moments include a Thanksgiving feast for the Lions’ home game against the Texans on Thanksgiving Day and a Tom Brady joke for the team’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Oh, and by not using Redd’s ship for a Bucs joke, the team very slyly referenced Viking ships and perhaps another moment the team was infamous for about a decade ago.

@DetroitLions on Twitter

If you’ve played the game, watching them find little ways to reference teams and players using in-game animation and some gentle editing is really inspiring. For example, the crafting animation now looks like a Lions fan beating the hell out of a Green Bay Packers helmet with a hammer.

Lions on Twitter

The team even put out some custom in-game Lions gear designs for fans, which is really going the extra mile here. Props to the Lions staff for knowing what gamers have been obsessing over in recent weeks and making a themselves a great excuse to play Animal Crossing during work hours.