Chargers Win NFL Program Release with Gem Anime (Video)

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The Los Angeles Chargers have won the NFL release video competition with a meticulous, pearly tribute to anime greats.

While NFL fans are shouting after watching the official NFL program release for their favorite team, NFL social media accounts are involved in a heated battle: Which team can release the best video describing their program release?

New England Patriots used a special guest and sparked the “Pink Stripes” controversy, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a couple greenscreen gags with the cheerful offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs.

But the Los Angeles Chargers won the NFL release video competition, and it’s not even close.

While anime lovers will enjoy tributes to some of the genre’s biggest hits, there are plenty of gems for NFL fans, including:

  • A sunken Urban Meyers in a pub in London
  • An edited message to the Cleveland Browns, presumably about Deshaun Watson
  • A Seahawks cemetery that knows Mina Kimes’ hopes and dreams
  • Falcons fly head first into another loss (and a 28-3 reference)
  • Someone with the nickname “Chucky” thrown in the trash of the Las Vegas Raiders

AFC West fans will enjoy a mechanized Mahomes match, a Raiders pirate ship and watch Russell Wilson burn Mile High Stadium to the ground.

The Los Angeles Chargers win the NFL calendar release with on-point anime tribute

For fans of the Bleacher Report animated series “Gridiron Heights,” Charger’s NFL schedule is full of sheet music for both Chargers players and the season, as well as famous Japanese anime. Polygon detailed some of the anime references, which include recall to Naruto, Avatar: The Last Airbender, mecha anime and more.

Remarkably, the Chargers video team produced the video entirely in-house, which is a labor-intensive effort for an NFL video team that is constantly producing content. Chargers feature editor and producer Andrew Córdova explained that Chargers drew a lot of animation from anime lineart.

On Córdova’s Twitter thread, the producer links beloved anime scenes to the essence of team building in sports, as well as giving respect to the Japanese animators who created the original animations.

It’s not exclusive to NFL fans: there’s an extensive story with NFL players professing their love of anime, such as Dragon Ball Z. Juju Smith-Schuster made it clear he was a Sasuke stander when he re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in March 2021.

The Chargers may not have won the fourth attempt that decided their 2021 season, but the Chargers video team wins again.

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