Yeah, I get that part. But let's not confuse it here. A game in Mexico City != a game in LA.
Well, originally the game was going to be in LA so the Rams were going to enjoy the ~7%
NFL home field advantage (though it might be a lot less, given their current stadium situation). Then the game got "promoted" to Mexico City, and they lost that due to the neutral field. Now they have it back. The situation for their opponent is reversed, of course (though KC was going to get the usual 8 games with a home field advantage whereas LA was only going to get 7, and now that missing one is back). It doesn't make that much difference in any event, but I don't see the injustice here: the schedule is as it would have been but for the league's attempts to throw wrenches into both teams practice and preparation in the name of pushing the game into new markets.
Unless you're talking about the game-day atmosphere in Mexico City, but you wouldn't get that in Tempe or Phoenix, either. And why Phoenix? They already have their own NFL team. And why pick a place between Mexico City and LA and KC? A plane trip is a plane trip; the total transit times aren't that much different. And like I said, this wasn't supposed to be neutral site game in the first place, home field advantage isn't that great, both teams have already been disrupted, and they're constrained by the (collectively bargained) rules that were already in place to revert to the true home stadium anyway.
The Egg wrote:
Much like Thursday night games, I don’t like when they force teams to play overseas, because I think it puts them at a competitive disadvantage relative to other teams in their division. Of all the international cities, Mexico City probably makes the most sense though; I just wouldn’t want it to come at the cost of an important player(s) from two of the best teams getting hurt.
Are you sure about Mexico City making the most sense in terms of players not getting hurt? It's at 7,400 feet, 50% higher than Denver, and it has a significant air pollution problem. The teams had been making preparations to mitigate that (the Rams were practicing in Colorado Springs) but it was still going to be an issue. The games in Europe just have a longer plane flight (though not any longer than, say, the Seahawks playing in Florida) and some jet lag. I would suspect the chance of getting hurt at sea level in London is significantly less than at altitude in smog in Mexico City.
With all the NFL’s billions of dollars, you’ve gotta wonder why nobody knew or did anything about one of their marquee games until the last minute.
They knew about it for a while (there have been reports questioning the field condition
for days now) but it's those very billions that they want to keep growing that made them try to play the game there in the first place and kept them on that path until the player's union essentially rebelled. If it was up to just the league and the owners, they'd still be playing in Mexico City, on jagged gravel and asphalt if necessary. As the CTE issue has demonstrated, the league isn't interested in player health unless it threatens some of those billions.