The NFL has been trying to expand its reach beyond the American borders for a while now, and while their attempt has been met with mixed reviews, they remain intent on growing the league’s international appeal.
The fact that the game of American football is just about as taxing on the human body as any organized sport on the planet isn’t going to stop the league from requiring them to fly across oceans and over borders and hassle with customs in order to act as ambassadors of the game. That’s really not so surprising.
But it’s a little unsettling that even the very real fear that they will get robbed or poisoned isn’t enough to keep regular-season NFL games firmly in the ole’ contiguous 48.
Monday, the Texans and Raiders are playing in the first regular season NFL game in Mexico since 2005.
But it doesn’t sound like they’ll be enjoying their trip.
According to the Associated Press, in addition to a mandate that they not leave their Mexico City hotel or order room service, the Houston Texans team memo had a few other warnings.
Under the heading of “SAFETY” the players were advised to “leave all expensive jewelry at home,” to not bring large sums of money and to avoid all ATMs.
Another section included suggestions to drink only bottled water, avoid consuming any ice and to eat all meals in the meal room. The explicit warning read as follows:
“DO NOT order room service” and “DO NOT eat outside of the team meal room.”
According to the AP, the rule about room service could be related to a previous warning from the NFL that some meat produced in China and Mexico may be contaminated with clenbuterol, a banned steroid.
Awesome. So not only do these guys have to travel to another country to play a game that no one in said-country really cares about but they ALSO get to stay quarantined in their hotel rooms and risk a drug-related suspension if they eat the wrong taco. And you know someone will: you know one of these guys is going to crush a carne asada or five and test positive for the Bute!
Now Roger Goodell’s definitely not getting any of those “World’s Greatest Boss” mugs for Christmas.