Chiefs-Rams Wasn’t My Greatest Game Ever

RUSH: There are a lot of people who I gather think last night’s NFL game, the Monday night game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs may be one of the greatest NFL games of all time. And it was a good game, I will admit, but I don’t think it was the greatest of all time. I have my own game for that. But this thing fascinates me in a lot of ways.

This game was supposed to be in Mexico City. And it just doesn’t add up the way this game got pulled out of Mexico City and moved to Los Angeles. It was originally scheduled as a Rams home game — oh, and by the way, I need to point something out. Note that the ratings for this game are gonna be through the roof ’cause it was a great game. It’s the kind of game that people would talk about, people who are not listening would then go and tune in, so it’s gonna get a good rating.

It was exciting. It was like arena football. There was no defense, or very little. It was just all offense, 54-51 game or something like that, highest scoring NFL game ever. For a time it was the highest scoring Monday night game, but keep in mind they’re calling it the greatest NFL game ever, and there wasn’t one player that took a knee. The whole game, the whole pregame was a devotion to America and Southern California first responders and victims of the two fires.

The pregame of this game — and a lot of it was televised — was quintessential American. I didn’t see any anti-flag, anti-anthem behavior. I didn’t hear any. It was just the exact opposite. And if we get a good number on this game, a high rating, I think it’s worth pointing this out.

But I want to go back to Mexico City. But, folks, it just doesn’t make sense. This game was scheduled in January for Mexico City. And it was publicized so people bought hotel rooms and made flight reservations to spend the whole weekend in Mexico City. Azteca Stadium holds a lot of people. It’s 7,000 feet elevation, so you need to get there a little early to get accustomed to the thin amount of oxygen that’s in the air at that altitude.

The Rams even went to Colorado Springs for the week before the game to practice in high altitude conditions. The Chiefs didn’t. They stayed in Kansas City. Two different approaches. But I just find it hard to believe that the NFL has this game scheduled there and that they had nobody down there monitoring? For every NFL game, regularly scheduled game in America there is an advance team that goes in and makes sure the visiting hotel is up to snuff. The visiting team sends their own advance people in starting on Tuesday or Wednesday.

It is an article of faith that the home team and the city where the game’s gonna be played is gonna make sure the stadium is ready to go in every aspect, from the field to the stands, concessions, parking, security, all of this. And it’s done way, way in advance. Teams make their charter flight reservations in the spring when the schedule comes out. Everything is done way, way in advance.

We were told that the NFL decided five days before this game held last night that the field, the stadium, Azteca, was insufficient. There had been a concert, then a massive rainstorm or two, then a couple soccer matches and the field was — my point is that under normal circumstances the NFL would have had somebody down there or a team of people down there protecting this venue and making sure for the one game in this calendar year that was gonna be played there that nothing would happen to threaten the viability of the stadium. And that didn’t happen?

The NFL was shocked to learn a week before the game that the field might not be playable. And then they send a turf specialist down there to see if they can lay some artificial grass, real grass on top of the damaged turf and get it done and set in time for the game. They decided after half a day that that wasn’t gonna work and they canceled the game.

I’m thinking no. There had to be something we’re not being told. Either the Rams or the Chiefs didn’t want to go down there — by the way, the players, after they saw pictures of the field, some of the players were saying we’re gonna boycott, we’re not gonna go. But that had nothing to do with it. The decision to pull that game out of Mexico City happened long before the week before the game. Had to. I mean, this just doesn’t make sense.

It just doesn’t make any sense that the NFL has this game scheduled for this stadium and has no representation now. They should have had somebody down there from this summer on and they stay there and make sure that whatever happens in that stadium, nothing prevents this game from going on. So somebody didn’t want to go down there. And that’s what we’re not being told. And we’re not being told why they didn’t want to go down there.

But I don’t think you can erase these caravans. I don’t think you can erase the unrest associated with illegal immigration and the criminal aspect of it. Somebody didn’t want to go down there. I don’t know if it was one of the teams, I don’t know if it was the league, but somebody did not want to mess with Mexico City at this time. And I’m not trying to establish any kind of conspiracy theory here. I mean, this is a business decision that somebody made, but they don’t want to announce it.

It’s convenient to blame it on the field, but you’re supposed to have somebody down there monitoring the field and making sure it doesn’t get torn up and if it does it gets fixed in plenty of time. You’re supposed to have somebody down there to make sure nobody’s on this field for a full three weeks to a month before this game is played, and you pay for that. If you’re gonna have a game in that stadium and it’s gotta go off, then you pay whoever runs that stadium to make sure nothing happens on it for three weeks before your usage of it, or two, whatever.

This game was huge. You had two 9-1 and 8-1 teams, one of the biggest games of the year, maybe the Rams said, “You know, why are we playing it down there? We want this in our stadium.” That could have been it. It could be that nobody wanted to mess with Mexico right now, given the status of unrest regarding immigration.

Anyway, somebody wanted this game in LA, and it was moved to LA, it was played in LA, and it was one of the most incredible games ’cause nobody’s ever seen a game this high scoring. But one of the problems I have with it, there were some great defensive plays, but neither team’s defense could stop the other. I hate to upset you Rams fans here, but the Chiefs beat themselves. The quarterback, three turnovers, an interception and a couple of fumbles returned that led to 21 points that the Rams offense didn’t score. I know it’s all part of the game, but the Chiefs beat themselves in that game. But neither here nor there. It was a great game and so forth.

But I think there’s a better one out there, and I have to agree with the Power Line guys. There was a game in 1981, and maybe you NFL fans will remember this. It was a playoff game between the San Diego Chargers of the Kellen Winslow era, the Dan Fouts, the Kellen Winslow era against the Miami Dolphins of the Don Shula era.

This game went into overtime. It was in January, it was unusually hot and humid, and the Chargers arrived in town, and the first thing they did was send their staff out to every grocery store to buy up all the bananas they could to help deal with the humidity.

The pregame meal for the Chargers was bananas. Teams going into Phoenix before they had a dome there would load up on bananas because they do well, they help you in heat and humidity. And pickle juice for real hot, humid weather like early games in the season in Dallas, teams will drink a teaspoon or two of pickle juice. It’s so salty, it is so filled with saline, if you’re a workout freak and you routinely work out and perspire profusely and you don’t want to cramp, just try a couple teaspoons of dill pickle juice. You know, get some dill pickle juice, sweet pickle juice, but the diller, the better.

This game, one or two overtimes, Kellen Winslow could barely walk off the field after this game. He had to be carried off on the shoulders of two teammates; so worn out. It featured a play that people had not seen before that has now become regularly – well, it’s not regularly used. It’s called the hook and ladder, and it was a Dolphins play. A wide receiver runs an out pattern about 20 or 30 yards and immediately on catching the pass laterals it back to a trailing running back who then continues the play.

And you gotta get away with running about a 24-yard hook pattern for the play to work, and it did. It had them standing and cheering in Miami. The Chargers ended up winning the game, and the next week, after having gorged on bananas in heat and humidity in Miami, the Chargers had to go to Cincinnati to play the Bengals. And it was 14 below zero wind chill. They almost canceled the game. Water was frozen in various parts of Paul Brown Stadium.

They didn’t cancel the game. The Chargers were still worn out from bananas and heat and humidity. They had to travel all the way back to San Diego, had a short week, had to get back to Cincinnati. All they wanted was for that game to be over. When the game was over, the Chargers went to the locker room, turned on every hot water in the shower they could find and put towels on the drains to cover it up so that they could get hot water since they were frozen to death.

I don’t think anybody thought they were gonna win the next week after. I mean, you’ve heard the cliche leaving it on the field. They left, the Chargers left everything on the field in that game in Miami. Might have been double overtime. I forget which. But it was 1981. And it was just a fantastic game. Not to take away anything from last night.

But there just wasn’t enough defense last night. You don’t want to watch pinball! And that’s what the NFL has turned the offenses into, literally pinball. But that’s what fans like, high scoring, a lot of offense, a lot of bombs, a lot of action and so forth. But it’s tough. You talk to people that play in the NFL, particularly on defense, they watch a game like that last night, and they cringe.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Jerry in Austin, Texas. Great to have you. How you doing, sir?

CALLER: Rush, is an honor to speak with you. I’m originally from Mexico City, and I just want to comment. I have friends in Mexico City who were ready to go to the game. For some reason this stadium is owned by Televisa, the biggest TV network in Mexico.

RUSH: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Hold it a minute. Whoa. Speak a little slower. Who owns the stadium, Televisa, did you say?

CALLER: Correct. Yes.

RUSH: Okay. Carlos Slim does not own this stadium?

CALLER: No. It is owned by Televisa.

RUSH: Televisa. Okay.

CALLER: They decide to do with one of the TV stations a concert Tuesday before the big game. And it was raining the day before. My friends were really upset because whoever was management of this stadium should like cancel that event and move it. It was a Televisa TV special and they were gonna do it in their own place inside the stadium. So instead they decide to do the event, they ruined the grass. We don’t have the technology like here in the United States to remove the whole grass and put a new one so was gonna take forever for the grass to be ready —

RUSH: Wait a minute. Let me tell you something. Nobody’s got the technology to totally redo a natural grass field inside of a week. You could truck all the sod down there you want, but there’s not enough time, there’s not enough sun, not enough daylight now for that grass to grow roots and settle in. I understand your beef! This was a big deal. Mexico City loves the NFL. That’s a huge population down there, 75,000 people could squeeze into this place. People had booked airline flights. They had booked hotels.

People that live in Mexico City had made arrangements. There was a little acknowledgment of it last night, ESPN had a camera in a bar or a cantina where they are showing Rams fans that had gone there for the game watching it on television sets in a bar wearing Rams jerseys. Yeah, I’m telling you there’s something really, really odd about this. The NFL does not make mistakes like this! There’s no way they don’t have somebody down there or a team of people guarding against this very thing happening. Jerry, I appreciate the call.