We see it in almost every sport in todays age. The “international game” series that traditionally has been used for preseason or youth programs has now become the norm for many major sports. The most obvious of this is the NFL, who has decided to put games in London and Mexico City in recent years. La Liga tried to make this move happen where league games would take place in the USA, but the team captains had a meeting and decided basically their players would rather sit out and tie than have their players travel to the US for a random league game.
The push is an obvious one; gain a larger following in the country the teams are traveling to. It makes sense in the large scheme of things. The Jacksonville Jaguars have been rumored to be the London team for a long time, and although a large mix of jerseys can be found at the UK game, they do have a decent following.
The NFL hasn’t made a decision yet on Monday’s Chiefs v. Rams game in Mexico City, per @AdamSchefter.
This is what the field currently looks like.
— SB Nation (@SBNation) November 13, 2018
The game that every NFL fan has been waiting for was slated to take place in Mexico City this week between the LA Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs. This game will now take place in Los Angeles, because of just terrible field conditions. Grass fields will always be torn up and that’s just the essence of sports…but this is ridiculous.
This field looks like it hasn’t been tended to in months, let alone weeks. This is legit just an all out hazard to the players, who for sure don’t even want to be in Mexico City playing this game in the first place. That isn’t a shot at the idea of these games happening, but I highly doubt anyone from either of these teams is excited about traveling to another country to play a game that would be a home game for one of the teams.
The major point of this article is this. How can these leagues not take the ultimate measures to make sure that these stadiums, or their own athletes, are absolutely treated in the best way possible? I’m not accusing any city of country of anything, but for the love of God at least give them a patch of green to run on. Just pathetic.
And worse of all, you have to assume this is because of some hopeful expansion to put the NFL into other countries, right? The distance between Atlanta and London is shorter than Atlanta and San Francisco, but are we really going to just trust that the NFL figures out how to properly schedule games when there have been countless ways to avoid the 4 day window of games from Sunday to Thursday and the NFL still hasn’t really moved too much around?
Also, could you imagine all of the top talent from these teams sitting out for this high profile game because of field conditions? It would be an all around failure for this league. This game will be one for the ages, and if the big names aren’t suiting up you can bet there will be riots. Mostly from Vegas books, but still riots.
I enjoy the games played on International soil as a fan of the sporting world. But when it comes to players of this caliber sitting out and basically deciding it isn’t in their best interest to play, should they continue? Then again, these leagues traditionally don’t care about the athletes anyways.