A LATE SWITCH

There’s no question what the marquee matchup is in NFL action this weekend. The 9-1 Kansas City Chiefs take on the 9-1 Los Angeles Rams. One question however, involved where the game was going to be played. As of yesterday the game was to be played in Mexico City. Now it will take place in Los Angeles. Here then is another question – why the late switch?

Over the last few years the NFL has decided to take some games out of the country. Games have been played in London as well as Mexico City. I would presume that the NFL makes some really good money doing this. I would also presume that when this game was scheduled for Mexico City, the league had no idea that these two teams would have the best records in the league.

So what did happen? The game was scheduled for this Monday night at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. Some concerns over the condition of the playing field cropped up. After conferring with the NFLPA, it was determined that the field was not playable and would likely not be by Monday. Some players from both teams talked openly about sitting out the game.

The condition of the field came about because of a difficult rainy season and a heavy multi-event calendar of events. A concert and a soccer game were played recently and pictures of the playing surface did look pretty bad. The decision to move the game appears to be a good one.

Many questions remain however. Should the NFL be playing so many games outside the U.S.? Should the NFL have given more notice of the switch? After all the Rams are in Colorado practicing in the thin air and fans of both teams may already be in Mexico expecting to attend the game that will now be in California. You can bet ESPN already has equipment and personnel in Mexico that will have to be relocated.

The view from my seat suggests that the NFL probably made the only decision they could under the circumstances. It does beg one last question though. Where is George Toma when you need him?

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