In a sign of how quickly misinformation can spread online, completely unsubstantiated rumors appear to have marred the college football national championship game on Jan. 8 for many viewers and fans.
No, much of the backlash from the game appeared to stem from the lack of a reveal for the highly anticipated video game, “NCAA Football 24,” which appears slated for a summer release at the moment. Of note, the beloved video game series has been dormant since 2013.
As chronicled by USA Today and Awful Announcing, these rumors that the upcoming football video game would get a release date and a promotional trailer during Jan. 8’s season finale can’t even really be traced back to any single source.
However, once word of mouth picked up steam, it wasn’t long before prominent X content creators were spamming posts like these:
EA Sports is expected to announce the release date for their College Football Game tonight during the National Championship game. 👀 pic.twitter.com/1R7NRFUocv
— SAY CHEESE! 👄🧀 (@SaycheeseDGTL) January 8, 2024
𝗥𝗘𝗣𝗢𝗥𝗧: It’s being reported that EA Sports will announce a release date for their new NCAA football game during tonight’s national championship game.
Cant wait for this 🗣️🗣️🗣️ pic.twitter.com/Kd2aG8H03n
— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) January 8, 2024
In fairness, as with any particularly viral rumor, this one was very logical.
The game is slated for a summer 2024 release, per Bleacher Report, and given the gravity and popularity of the CFP championship game, it would’ve been simple and sound marketing to give all those eyes glued to the television set a preview of the anticipated video game.
Only… it never came.
The reaction from the cross-section of hardcore college football fans and video game enthusiasts was loud and aggressive:
When I find out who started the NCAA Football 24 rumor
— dylan (@NatsRebuild) January 9, 2024
Me believing that EA Sports would release the NCAA football trailer tonight pic.twitter.com/xf9EmhQqMj
— Nick Potter (@nicholashpotter) January 9, 2024
Staring at the TV waiting on that NCAA football commercial pic.twitter.com/Oesg3oFVUM
— Harbinger of Memphis JT (@JoshMTown12) January 9, 2024
One X user even invoked the wild and viral encounter between a Las Vegas judge and a man with a lengthy rap sheet to address the potential of not getting the announcement:
Me at EA headquarters if they don’t announce the NCAA Football game pic.twitter.com/qsIiDdk3xh
— sky (@GonsolinRBW) January 9, 2024
As of this writing, there is no official update on “NCAA Football 24” or an actual release date, but the “Summer 2024” designation does not appear to have changed.
EA Sports opted to bring back the venerable college football franchise (EA’s NFL game, “Madden,” has not missed a release since its inception) after a decade of dormancy largely due to the name, image and likeness issue that had previously gotten the game in trouble being lifted.
In short, EA Sports stood accused of using player images and likenesses without them getting paid (something EA Sports would not have been able to do previously, as paying athletes used to be illegal in college sports) but the new NIL rules allow college football players to make oodles of money while barely playing.
That paved the way for this franchise to return and as you can see based on the heated responses to the lack of a reveal on Jan. 8, anticipation is apparently and aggressively high.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.