With the potential of a poor playing field in Mexico City, the NFL will send two of its premier teams in the Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs to play a Monday Night Football game that has a lot on the line.
At least that’s the hope.
For fans who may not be aware, the playing surface at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City is awful, and the National Football League has mobilized to begin evaluating what is needed to get it ready to host a regular season game in front of a prime-time Monday Night Football audience. The field, a mix of grass and synthetic surface, is multi-used for everything from soccer games to concerts. The rainy season hasn’t helped as the turf now looks to be in rough shape.
Yes, this is just what the league wants for two of the best teams in the NFL in the hunt for a Super Bowl; a bad track that could be inviting for injuries.
The Los Angeles Rams are already dealing with that as receiver Cooper Kupp is done for the remainder of the 2018 season with a torn ACL. With hardly any contact, Kupp went down on the field of the Coliseum and just like that, one of quarterback Jared Goff’s favorite and go-to pass catchers is gone.
A no contact injury on a good turf.
What could happen on what looks to be a bad one?
Bottom line is the NFL keeps lobbing theses regular season games at stadiums that aren’t always equipped or maintained for NFL games. The league, who keeps flirting with a potential footprint for a franchise anywhere but in the United States, would face overwhelming backlash if any team was to suffer a catastrophic type injury to a marquee player on a track not in the proper shape for a regular season game AND not meeting league standards that would not be overlooked in any of the 32 cities that actually have a team.
Yet, off the Rams and Chiefs go to Mexico City for a game that could reasonably be a preview of a championship game.
More simply put, the NFL needs to get out of the business of putting “home” games anywhere but in already established league cities. It benefits no one but a commissioner who enjoys the courtship at the expense of the players and fans.