The Kansas City Chiefs game against the Los Angeles Rams — originally scheduled to be played in Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca this Monday night — has been moved the Rams home field: the Los Angeles Coliseum.
We thought of five reasons why this is a good thing:
1. Lower altitude
Although Chiefs head coach Andy Reid made it clear during his Monday press conference that the team had made no special plans because the Chiefs were going to be playing in Estadio Azteca — which, at 7,280 feet, is a full 2,000 feet higher above sea level than Denver’s Mile High Stadium — neither team will have to worry about getting themselves worn out because they are having difficulty breathing at a high altitude.
2. Homelike conditions
The Chiefs draw well in the Los Angeles area. Historically, NFL games that are suddenly moved into different venues are not well-attended. Many Rams fans may now be locked into traveling to Mexico City and will have to spend their time sightseeing instead of attending the game. (And yes, there will be Chiefs fans who have the same problem. Let’s hope everybody gets along while watching the game on TV in the hotel bar!) So Chiefs fans living in southern California are probably going to be able to get their hands on tickets — and hopefully, Chiefs players on the sideline will be able to hear CHIEFS! at the end of the national anthem.
3. Even more tickets available
We’ve also learned that the Rams will be giving away thousands of tickets to first responders and others affected by the terrible wildfires now taking place in California. So first... kudos to the Rams for this very nice touch! But it seems likely that many of these tickets will end up on the secondary market; some who receive them may not be able (or inclined) to use them. Arrowhead Pride readers in California are advised to beat the bushes looking for these tickets!
4. It demonstrates why Andy Reid is a great coach
The Rams had hoped to get a leg up on the Chiefs by moving this week’s practices to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the hopes that their players could become acclimatized to a higher altitude before Monday’s game. The Rams arrived in Colorado on Monday night, and we have now learned that they intend to stay there through the week. That’s probably their best move at this point.
But an even smarter move might have been to never go there in the first place.
Reid made it clear this week that the Chiefs had carefully considered practicing at a high altitude location before traveling to Mexico, but had decided against it.
“We looked into all that,” Reid said on Monday. “We had plenty of time to look at that. After studying it, we just felt it was best to stay here. We’ll just go down there and play.”
This is consistent with Reid’s usual approach: to trust his process of preparation — to establish a routine of preparing for games, and stick with it as much as is possible. Each week — in response to questions about preparations for an upcoming game — he re-emphasizes this point.
The Rams will go into Monday’s game missing at least a full day of preparation — perhaps even more — because of the distraction of traveling to and from Colorado. Meanwhile, Reid and his team have gone about their business as usual and will be fully prepared. Advantage: Chiefs.
There were some pundits (and fans) who have been critical of Reid this week for not moving the team’s operations to a higher altitude. But right now, the Chiefs head coach looks like a genius.
5. A chance to even up the record
The Kansas City Chiefs franchise has played 14 games in the Los Angeles Coliseum. The first was when the Dallas Texans played against the Los Angeles Chargers in September 1960. The last was against the Los Angeles Raiders almost 25 years ago — on Christmas Eve in 1994.
The Chiefs have never played a Monday Night Football game in the Coliseum, and have only played one game there against a team outside of their own conference. It was against Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers on January 15, 1967. At the time, it was billed as the AFL-NFL Championship Game, but today we know it as Super Bowl I. The Packers won that game, 35-10.
In this second-ever matchup with a non-conference team in the Coliseum — which for weeks has been billed as a preview of Super Bowl LIII — wouldn’t it be nice to even the score?