It’s not a secret that the NFL has continued to make itself more of an international product. Games in London and Mexico City in recent seasons magnify this even further.
With the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots set to play in Mexico next season and multiple games in the United Kingdom, the NFL continues to expand its horizons.
Recent suggestions indicate that the league is in fact looking at the possibility of playing a game in China. Unfortunately, and outside of real logistical issues, there’s the whole pollution mess in China. We’ve read the stories. We know the situation. And it’s startlingly bad.
For its part, the NFL now might have to actually come up with a uniform to protect players from the pollution before a game can take place in the eastern world’s population center.
“The NFL wants to play a regular-season game in China,” Pro Football Talk noted on Wednesday. “The league may have to wait until the league develops a uniform that includes scuba gear.”
No, the league itself isn’t worried about a great flood or anything of that magnitude. The gear would be utilized to help players overcome the pollution issues in China.
As PFT notes, it’s highly unlikely that China would shut down coal plants and seed clouds to cater to the NFL, much like it did prior to the Olympics back in 2008.
It’s an interesting scenario to look at. There were definitely issues with last year’s game between the Houston Texans and aforementioned Raiders in Mexico City. Though, that had more to do with concerns over crime.
In China, it’s all about the environment. And this is surely something the NFL itself can’t control.
The NFL had planned on a regular season game in China in 2018. It’s not a topic that is expected to be broached until May. We can bet the nation’s pollution crisis will be a part of the conversation.