The National Football League, despite all of its flaws, has reached a level of popularity in the United States unlike any other modern sport.
Despite the fact that the actual season only runs from September to early February, the NFL calendar is a year-round affair, from free agency in March, to the draft in April, to minicamp in July.
In fact, the NFL has become such a massive and obsessed-over entity that even the release of the new season’s schedule has become an event in and of itself.
Now, not only do fans get excited about the release of the new schedule, but they get excited about how the schedule is released.
And while the “opponents as Pop Tarts” thread rolled out by the Los Angeles Chargers was a worthy entry, this year’s award for “Best Schedule Release” goes to the Atlanta Falcons, who wisely capitalized on the massive Game of Thrones mania that is currently sweeping the nation.
Mimicking the iconic intro of HBO’s Emmy Award-winning fantasy drama, the Atlanta Falcons 2019 schedule announcement truly went above and beyond.
Football is coming.
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) April 17, 2019
Visiting all of the stadiums in the NFL as if they were Houses of Westeros, the Falcons threw in clever winks and nods to all the teams they were playing, particularly the New Orleans Saints.
At around the 40-second mark — as the video travels to the Superdome in New Orleans — a ram can be seen trampling a marching Saints fan before a ref runs into the frame to give a ruling of “incomplete”, which is an obvious jab at the Saints about their crushing NFC Championship defeat.
The 2019 NFL season will begin on Thursday, September 5, when the Green Bay Packers travel to Soldier Field to take on the Chicago Bears to renew the oldest rivalry in the National Football League.
The defending champion New England Patriots will kick off their season on Sunday, September 8, against the Steelers.