As we rolled through the streets heading to our hotel late yesterday, I saw people sitting and relaxing at sidewalk restaurants. I saw others strolling along the streets and some stopping in at Starbucks.
It was a scene that was playing out in Houston and many other major cities in this hemisphere at that exact time, but this was Mexico City. The high-altitude city that is supposed to be full of crime and full of pollution.
I haven’t seen any of that in my first 24 hours on this trip. I heard all the warnings as we headed to Mexico City for the Texans-Raiders game on Monday Night Football. Don’t drink the water. Don’t be out on the streets by yourself and don’t eat the meat. I’ve been drinking only bottled water but I’ve seen many people enjoying frozen margaritas -- drinks with ice and all sorts of food -- and I haven’t heard any complaints yet.
The police seem to be everywhere, and security is not a major concern in this area. We are staying in the Polanco area of Mexico City. It’s a combination of River Oaks and Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. I’ve been to Mexico City before, and yes, even on this trip I have seen plenty of poverty-stricken areas.
But this is a beautiful city in so many ways. I just returned from a huge park where NFL FanFest is being held, and to see the excited looks on all the kids' faces as they either played touch football or stood in line for an autograph tells me that the NFL is making inroads in this country. I just hope Monday night’s game will be as beautiful as the weather is here today.
I think the talented Raiders will win 28-24 over the banged-up Texans, but I hope I’m wrong -- just like all the naysayers who were saying this NFL foray into Mexico City was a bad idea.