Bears’ 2022 schedule reveal is just a drop in the bucket

Throughout the years, the NFL release schedule has gone from a footnote on the calendar to one of the more anticipated events of the offseason. Not only is it one of the final puzzle pieces to completing the upcoming season, but it’s a chance for NFL teams to flex their creative muscles with fun and engaging videos.

In the case of the Chicago Bears, their entire schedule had already leaked earlier in the day thanks to multiple sources, but the team still had some fun with unveiling their 2022 schedule video.

After recent years featured some odd animation and sports celebrities guessing paint colors, the Bears decided to highlight their own players in a type of bucket challenge. The question is, does it hold up compared to the competition or spill over?

While some NFL teams released their schedules with detailed anime, a trip down memory lane, or poking fun at a 2021 memethe Bears showcased their players either throwing, kicking, punting, or snapping a ball into a bucket at Halas Hall.

The video begins with quarterback Justin Fields throwing an easy pass into the stationary bucket. When the ball goes in, the opponent is announced next to it featuring crayon art. Kicker Cairo Santos, running back David Montgomery, long snapper Patrick Scales, and linebacker Roquan Smith are among the players who participate.

As the games are announced, the “attempts” become ridiculous and outlandish, though it’s very clear they’re not real and the ball is obviously being tossed in the bucket from a short distance. Smith launches a ball over Halas Hall, Montgomery airs it in from a barber’s chair, and Santos kicks one from the gate.

The ridiculousness is taken up a notch when Fields throws a pass from outside Soldier Field, over the city of Chicago, to the same bucket outside of Halas Hall. Montgomery follows that up from Willis Tower, and then wide receiver Darnell Mooney makes an appearance to throw it from the surface of the moon to finish the schedule reveal.

On it’s own, this schedule video is fine. It’s great the team was able to get its stars to participate (even if they were in front of some very poor green screens) with fun dance moves and celebrations. Fields dancing in front of Soldier Field has already been made into a gif.

Meanwhile, the bucket challenge was a nice homage to the activities the team’s quarterbacks would take part in throughout last year’s training camp. The competition was a highlight for fans. But when other franchises keep raising the bar with their unique ideas, the Bears seem to just tread water.

To me, it feels like they don’t put in the effort or time to make something truly memorable. Last year, they mixed paint. This year, they dropped balls in a bucket, using the exact same footage every time.

Perhaps they don’t have to stand out, being the charter franchise and all, but when it’s inevitable that the schedule is going to leak earlier in the day, don’t you want to give the fans something memorable? Why not try to win the release schedule? In my opinion, the Bears haven’t had a great reveals since 2018 when they debuted the comic book adventures. It’s been downhill ever since.

The way a team reveals a schedule has absolutely nothing to do with how they perform during the season. It’s literally just a fun exercise to get fans excited during a time where there’s still four months to go before the regular season begins. That being said, the Bears need to do better and I think they can do better.

It’s a new era in Chicago, let’s have some fun with it. Don’t let the schedule reveals just become a drop in the bucket.

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