For Pete's Sake

‘No-brainer decision:’ National reaction to Chiefs-Rams game moving from Mexico City

2018 file video -- Poor field conditions in Mexico force NFL to move Chiefs game to Los Angeles

Last year, after consulting with the NFLPA and inspecting the field at Azteca Stadium, sub-standard conditions forced the NFL to move the Chiefs-Rams game from Estadio Azteca in Mexico City to Los Angeles
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Last year, after consulting with the NFLPA and inspecting the field at Azteca Stadium, sub-standard conditions forced the NFL to move the Chiefs-Rams game from Estadio Azteca in Mexico City to Los Angeles

The NFL’s decision to move Monday night’s Chiefs-Rams game from Mexico City to Los Angeles certainly sent shock waves across the sports world.

Chiefs fans who were planning to see the game in Azteca Stadium in Mexico City were crushed. Non-travelers thought it was best for the Chiefs.

Not surprisingly, this was a big topic across the country, too.

Most national observers seem to think moving the game was a good idea, and a columnist in Los Angeles called it a win for the Rams.

Here is what those people were saying about change of venue.

Jarrett Bell of USA Today wrote an opinion piece headlined, “Relocating Chiefs-Rams game from Mexico City to LA creates another big mess for NFL.”

Here is an excerpt: “What a mess, NFL.

“And just think: It could have been way worse.

“The quick decision by the league on Tuesday to bolt from Mexico City — scrapping the threat of a potential disaster — wasn’t really much of a choice.

“Imagine if Todd Gurley or Patrick Mahomes tore up a knee while sliding around on a sloppy field at Estadio Azteca on Monday night.

“Or if Jared Goff, Tyreek Hill and Aaron Donald simply refused to play.

“No, the no-brainer decision to move the ‘midseason Super Bowl’ between the Rams and the Chiefs to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was essentially made for the NFL, in consultation with the NFL Players Association, when transposed against the integrity of the game and safety of the players.”

You can read more here.

Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke wrote that the “Rams are the winners in ‘Monday Night Football’ relocation.”

Here is an excerpt: “It will be the Rams’ high-priced, all-pro defense versus the second-highest-scoring team in the league. It will be the Rams’ second-ranked rushing attack against the Chiefs’ 26th-ranked rushing defense.

“This is like being awarded a mini-Super Bowl without the price gouging. This is like a surprise holiday package for all those suffering Rams fans who thought they wouldn’t see their team again until late December. This is also completely appropriate because, remember, this was officially a Rams home game that was hijacked by the league for the purpose of internationally broadening their market.

“Think about it some more. Less than 24 hours ago, the Rams were facing an uphill struggle against a speedy team on a neutral field at a stifling altitude. Now they will be running downhill in the level surroundings of the friendly Coliseum, where they have gone 5-0 this season with big wins over the Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks. The Chiefs are 4-1 on the road with a 43-40 loss at New England and one-possession victories over Pittsburgh and Denver.

“The Rams need any edge they can get in chasing down the one-loss New Orleans Saints for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. This change of venue could give them the edge they need.”

You can read more here.

Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports wrote a column with the headline, “NFL must learn from Rams vs. Chiefs blunder in Mexico City for future international games.”

Here is an excerpt: “The NFL is blessed (mostly due to U.S. taxpayers) to play its games in plush facilities. With the exception of Oakland, the Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers, each of the league’s stadiums was built primarily for the NFL. And all three teams will play in new, state-of-the-art stadiums by 2020.

“That can’t be assured internationally. What in America can stand up to Shakira and soccer might not elsewhere.

“That’s always been the potential pratfall of taking the show on the road. It finally blew up on the league.

“Tough break for Mexico City, a late boon for L.A. And for the NFL, a lesson to be learned once the humiliation wears off.”

You can read more here.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wrote a story with the headline, “NFL does the right thing, a lot later than it should have.”

Here is an excerpt: “So here’s the question that may never be answered: Why did it come so close to happening? The concert that tore up the turf occurred on October 11, more than a month before the plug was pulled. What did the league think would occur between then and now to allow the field to meet the NFL’s standards?

“Although the NFL avoided the ultimate embarrassment of insisting on playing the game and having players refuse to play at all, the fact that the league had to throw in the towel on the Mexico City game only six days before playing it is embarrassing enough.

“Whatever the explanation, it’s hard to understand why efforts weren’t immediately undertaken to assess the situation and to remedy it. It’s impossible to understand why the rip cord wasn’t pulled until six days before the game.”

You can read more here.

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