Bill Belichick In No Rush To Return To Mexico City, Citing Long Trip, Logistics
Patriots coach Bill Belichick does not have a "strong desire to return" to Mexico following his team's game against the Raiders on Sunday, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Belichick, speaking yesterday on WEEI-FM, said, "Personally I wouldn't be in any big rush to do it again. 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." He added, "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" (ESPN.com, 11/20). SI.com's Dan Gartland noted Belichick's comments about potential natural disasters in Mexico City "may read like a poor attempt at a joke, but the audio of the interview makes it clear Belichick was seriously concerned that the Patriots and Raiders were at risk of being caught in a dangerous earthquake" (SI.com, 11/20). ESPN's John Sutcliffe tweeted Belichick "failed to appreciate the incredible ❤️ for the game in México, and if worried about playing in areas with unstable geological plates he better stay away from California." Browns OT Joe Thomas: "The real complaining should be from teams that have to play on the west coast on Monday night... my friends on the @AtlantaFalcons just got home at 8:32am. New week starts in less than 24 hrs." Univision Sports' Ricardo Otero: "Hey @Patriots tell Bill Belichick we won't miss him in Mexico."
SELLING OUT? THE ATHLETIC's Tim Kawakami wrote the Raiders giving up a home game and moving it to Mexico City "was something no strong and stable team would have ever done. Ever." It feels like Raiders Owner Mark Davis "partially sacrificed the good spirit and positive momentum" of his team at an "especially pivotal point in what had been this franchise's ascendancy." But Davis "had to agree to it, presumably, to get all those 'yes' votes" for the Raiders' move to Las Vegas (THEATHLETIC.com, 11/20). In S.F., Ann Killion writes Davis "gave up a home game against a premier team to go on the road, in a stadium filled" with Patriots fans. It is just a "harbinger of what the Raiders’ future in Las Vegas will look like: giving up the home-field advantage of the Black Hole to play an endless succession of neutral-site games" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/21).