Playing overseas is no easy task, just ask Tony Softli.
Ever wonder what it's like for the St. Louis Rams to play in London? Well, look no further than Tony Softli, who the Rams or 101 radio is paying to chronicle the trip across the pond with nonsensical tweets, unreadable blog posts, strange punctuation choices and zany photos of him on the team bus.
The second-most famous mustache in St. Louis is offering some real insight into the process of taking a team overseas. For instance:
One of the challenges is the procurement of an aircraft which starts with a very lengthy bidding process which determines who actually wins the opportunity to work with the traveling team. It may come down to overall cost of the trip, jet fuel cost, size, TV's on board, Wi-Fi, food service and much more.
NFL teams choose airline services just like you and me. Now that's insight we can believe in.
There's a lot for tourists to see and do in London and the UK, but that's not what the Rams are there for, as Softli reminds us with a dose of the passive tense:
Coach Fisher and his staff have not forgot about the sense of urgency, and understand that this is another game on the 2012 schedule, a business trip that just happens to be playing at a neutral site for both teams even though the Rams are being considered the home team.
Besides procuring an airplane with the appropriate amenities, the physical toll of relocating across the Atlantic for a week requires a little adjustment. Softli explains how to handle a common problem for international travelers:
But this day was not only about getting back in the routine of meetings and practice sessions; it was about the "jet lag" that was affecting the Rams and everyone on the Monday evening flight out of St. Louis to the UK. Everyone was fighting the effects of lack of sleep.
There's a big difference in six hour time change, it really gets to you. People think it's just sleep, you can wake up and turn it on, but you really can't, sleep is very important.
But Tony Softli is more than just a world travel taking his facial hair on tour. He's a football guy, first and foremost, and he says that this travel thing could be a distinct advantage for the Rams.
The New England Patriots arrive Friday to the UK and while they will be dealing with a five hour time change, it might prove to be a smart move by Coach Fisher bring his team to London six days before there game in Wembley Stadium, and could be the edge the Rams need in defeating Tom Brady and the Patriots.