Instead of playing the Miami Dolphins at home, the Kansas City Chiefs will face them across the pond in Frankfurt, Germany on Sunday as part of the NFL’s annual international series.
a lotwhy such a big match will be played abroad. Whatever the reason, veteran Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdez-Scantling isn’t a fan of the travel involved in playing in an international game.
“Yeah, it sucks,” he said during an in-person interview with CBS Sports. “I mean, obviously it sucks that we have to travel nine hours for a home game when Arrowhead is right down the street. But obviously we have other fans that are all over the world, not just in the United States. So it gives them the opportunity to see some of their favorite players play.
“I know we have a lot of fans in Germany, so I’m grateful that we can give them this opportunity. But it really sucks for players to have to be away from their families, or (I’m) have to find a sitter for my dogs for a few days. Things to consider. But after that it is what it is.”
While the game gives fans in Frankfurt a chance to see an NFL game in person, it doesn’t sound like the Chiefs will get much of a chance to survive Frankfurt.
“I think it will be mostly business,” Valdez-Scantling said of the trip. “We leave on Thursday after practice. We’ll probably get there Friday morning and then we’ll probably train when we land. The only free time will probably be Friday after we finish work. Obviously, Saturday is the day before the game, so we’re doing all our final preparations for the game.”
Dolphins seem to have a different approach. While the Chiefs left for Germany on Thursday, Miami arrived in Frankfurt on Tuesday morning. The reason for the Dolphins’ early arrival was Miami coach Mike McDaniel’s desire for his players to spend some time without thinking about football.
Location aside, Sunday is a big game for both teams. Miami (6-2) is currently just behind Kansas City (6-2) in the AFC standings after the Dolphins’ win over the Patriots last Sunday and the Chiefs’ surprising loss to the Broncos in Denver.
No one should be surprised if Valdez-Scantling’s presence is felt more heavily on Sunday. Some of the six-year veteran’s best games have come on the NFL’s brightest stages. As a member of the Packers, Valdes-Scantling recorded 115 receiving yards and a score in the 2020 NFC title game. Last January, he caught a critical touchdown pass in the Chiefs’ AFC Championship Game victory over the Bengals.
“It’s just opportunities,” Valdez-Scantling said of his ability to step up in big moments. “I don’t take anything for granted. We’ve been doing this thing with football for so long. I know I’ve been playing since I was little. So it’s no different no matter what stage it’s on. Don’t look at it any different… I look at all these games the same way, never get too high, never get too low.
“I think that’s kind of been my motto in life, and I kind of stayed calm… One of my coaches in college told me this saying, and it kind of stuck with me: ‘It’s never as good as it is and it’s never as bad as it looks. It’s just how I’ve always run my life, it’s kind of helped me be where I am now.”
Valdes-Scantling and his teammates will each take one consolation from home with them in Germany. Charmin recently sent the team their new toilet paper, Ultra Soft Smooth Tear, ahead of this weekend’s upcoming game.
“Charmin will prepare me for my trip to Germany,” Valdez-Scantling said. “I just keep my routine the same with their Ultra Soft Smooth Tear toilet paper. Going to another part of the world that you’ve never seen before, you just never know what to expect. To be able to have Charmin bless me with that and keeping my routine the same, I’m grateful that we’re partnered and I’m excited about it.”