According to multiple reports, both the Patriots and the Raiders have interest in playing in Mexico City at some point in the 2017 season. John Sutcliffe on ESPN Deportes during the Monday night Eagles-Packers game said that Robert Kraft is largely interested in bringing his team to Mexico City next year. Raiders owner Mark Davis has already said that he wants to make it a priority to have Oakland play south of the border as much as possible, as his team has a strong fan following there.
Though 2017-18 season schedules are not yet known, we do know that New England plays at Oakland some time next season, so making this happen would be simple to do.
Plus, international play has a history of being good to the Patriots, though only through two games played. New England played Tampa Bay back in 2009 at Wembley Stadium in a 35-7 win over the Bucs. In 2012, the Patriots then returned to Wembley to play the then St. Louis Rams in a 45-7 win.
As a Patriots fan, I’m not really down for this whole thing. The very first thing that I thought of once I saw the news was, “Okay, let’s get this wall built already.” There’s a handful of downsides to this. One, the distance. I’m no expert, but Foxborough to Mexico City isn’t necessarily a quick flight. Compared to most other teams, that’s a damn long distance. I doubt anyone on the team would be too thrilled about the preparation nor getting on that flight.
Going back to the Oakland-Houston game that was played a few weeks back down in Mexico, the laser pointer. The freaking laser pointer. A fan at this game pointed one directly at QB Brock Osweiler’s face from the stands. After the game, he said it was very distracting and definitely affected his performance. Apparently Mexico City is in middle school. There’s probably a slim chance that it happens again, but still. God forbid somebody is stupid enough to do it again.
As it’s looking right now, a Pats-Raiders matchup next season could be one of the more anticipated regular season games. The two teams currently have 9-2 records and, who knows, could face off in the playoffs in the next two months or so. If the Mexico game is played in the later half of the season, neither team being necessarily ‘home’ could have large impacts on a lot of things, like standings and/or playoff seedings.
I’m really just not a huge fan of international games in general. Things always seem fishy, and they’re typically uneventful or just not exciting. Maybe having two good teams play each other on that stage for once could change that narrative. Whatever Mr. Kraft wants, Mr. Kraft gets, so there’s a good chance that this thing plays out.
One thing that I’ve noticed about these international games is that Roger Goodell attends every game, from what I’ve seen. Goodell has basically made it a priority to stay as far away from the Patriots as possible, and hasn’t gone to one of their games for a couple of years now. This would technically force him to grow a pair and be in the presence of the team for the first time in a while, which is probably his ultimate fear. I just hope that before this Mexico City game, Goodell has to hand over the Super Bowl 51 trophy to Tom Brady, to make it even sweeter.
In the end, one thing that’s for sure is that no matter how this game may play out, it won’t be nearly as good as this one game that happened back in 2002…