The 10 hour preview for Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL 22 came out for EA Play console subscribers on Thursday, giving fans a taste of this year’s edition of the only pro football game we have to cut our teeth on. It’s a glorious time, another sign that NFL football looms large yet again on America, but it would seem an accurate depiction of new Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell is not, contrary to the tag line, in the game.
Credit goes to Lions fan and Twitter user @TheRoyalRapt0r, who entered the early access on his XBox Series X, only to find that the Campbell’s likeness was missing. In his stead at the coach’s podium was a generic character model with a black goatee.
(To be perfectly clear, this is not what Dan Campbell looks like in real life.)
The most likely explanation is that this is a placeholder model and will be replaced once his proper model is completed and entered into the release build or a future update. Still, the full game is set to release in just over a week, so his absence in the game might be of some minor concern for Lions fans looking for an accurate depiction of their new head coach to be there at launch.
The other explanation, and follow with me on this one here, is that the Lions are once again being disrespected by the national “lamestream” NFL media cabal and the developers at EA, who refuse to put in a muscle stud mensch and repeatedly shafts Detroit players on their stats. Only when this conspiracy is brought to light and stopped by the real fans will Detroit rise up and win like eight Super Bowls in a row #OnePride.
Here’s another view of “Dan Campbell” on the sidelines during a game, again from @TheRoyalRapt0r.
Campbell’s name appears in Madden 22, so the situation is probably not similar at all to Bill Belichick’s absence from the same game—again, lending credence to the notion that this is currently just a placeholder in early access pending a full face model is put in the full version.
Madden 22 releases in full on August 20.
UPDATE (8/12/21): It would appear that yes, it is indeed a placeholder and not a massive sports media conspiracy. The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed scanning in many of the new coaches, according to one employee at Electronic Arts, the game’s developer:
We still have not had a chance to scan any new coaches thanks to Covid, they are a top priority for us— Ratings Adjustin Smith (@Equipment_Guru) August 12, 2021