The New England Patriots came away with a convincing 33-8 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday in a game played in Mexico City, but head coach Bill Belichick wasn't a fan of playing the game internationally.
"Personally, I wouldn't be in any big rush to do it again," Belichick said Monday on Boston radio station WEEI. "It's a long way to go for a game. There's a lot in terms of all the logistics of it. They are not used to having an NFL team, so you have to go in there and handle a lot of the logistics. It took a lot of manpower, a lot of hours, a lot of energy out of our organization to do that. We are exhausted from the trip."
Aside from the additional travel, unfamiliar surroundings, and substantial media hype surrounding the contest, Belichick also feared for the safety of his players and staff.
"We dealt with it. (The) players did a great job dealing with all the challenges we had to deal with. I think we're fortunate there was no volcano eruptions or earthquakes, or anything else while we were down there. You have two NFL franchises in an area that I don't know how stable the geological plates that were below us (were), but nothing happened, so that was good."
Mexico experienced three major earthquakes in September, and has a history of catastrophic tremors in the last century, but these concerns also exist in the United States. California, which boasts four NFL teams and borders Mexico, often experiences earthquakes of a lesser magnitude. The Patriots, of course, frequently play road games in the state, and Belichick hasn't shared the same fear of natural disaster for those games.
Regardless of Belichick's backlash, the NFL plans to continue hosting a regular season game in Mexico through 2021, which suits Patriots quarterback Tom Brady just fine.
“To be here and play in a different country and to have everyone cheer for our team, cheer for me and cheer for my team-mates is incredible. Hopefully there’s many more games here,” Brady told ESPN. “It’s a great experience. I’ve never been to Mexico City, but I’m definitely coming back. We stayed in a beautiful hotel, I had a beautiful view in my room. Just a very historic stadium. I know there’s been some really important sporting events here.”
The NFL has been aggressively looking to promote its brand internationally over the last decade, hosting games in London, Canada, and now Mexico City.
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