The NFL often doesn’t do the right thing. Or, if it does end up on the correct side of common sense and kindness, it takes a while.
Remember the whole custom cleat fiasco of a couple of years ago the league finally got right after it stumbled over itself and created a public relation disaster? The league was heading down that familiar rabbit hole again, but Tuesday it saved itself.
The premier game of this NFL season, between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams, will be played in L.A. on Monday Night and not in Mexico City. The playing field in Mexico City is clearly unplayable and there were reports of players from both teams not being comfortable with the conditions.
Now, that the game will be played in Los Angeles, here are some keys to consider:
Rams may have bigger hassle than Chiefs: The Rams are the home team, but they are the team that has to scramble right away. The Rams flew to Colorado Springs, Colorado on Monday to acclimate for the intense altitude of Mexico City. The Rams will stay away from home because they are already immersed in the work week. Thus, they have unneeded travel. It will be a very hectic and tiresome week of the Rams. NFL coaches and players are creatures of habit. The Rams’ week has been pushed into upheaval for the second straight week. Last week, practice was affected by the fires near their facility. The Chiefs will have to adjust some, but their travel plans will not be altered and frankly, the Chiefs would likely very much rather play in L.A. than in Mexico City even if it’s a true Rams’ home game.
Mexico needs to be reconsidered: The NFL loves its international presence. That’s why there are going to more games in London. It ii a cash cow for the league. The NFL has been a huge success the past two years in Mexico City. But the stadium is subpar and there have been some complications. The folks in charge of the stadium knew this game was coming and it allowed other events to ruin the field without any urgency to fix it. Unless an alternate site is arranged, the NFL may have to halt or postpone future plans to play in Mexico City. In the end, the Rams-Chiefs will meet Monday in a safe environment for the players, but getting to this point has been an unnecessary hassle.