NFL players are tough. But they’re also sensitive souls – and they care deeply about toilet paper.
The New York Jets are at Wembley on Sunday, and they have gone to great – some may say outré – lengths to make sure the players are looked after properly. They have their own clothes washer. Their own private chef. And – get this – they’ve imported 350 rolls of their own toilet paper to, as the New York Times puts it, “replace the thinner version used in England”.
The Times spoke to Aaron Degerness, the Jets’ senior manager of team operations, about what was required for the team’s arduous trek to one of the world’s most inhospitable environments for a few days in one of the world’s most easygoing cities. And people say professional sports stars are pampered.
The details are mind-boggling. Five thousand items – from cereal and extension cords to gauze pads and wrist – have been loaded on to a ship containing supplies for all six NFL teams playing in London this season. (Jacksonville play Buffalo in week seven, and Kansas City take on Detroit the following week. The ship left New York in August) The Jets have spent 11 months planning for about 65 hours overseas, an undertaking that Degerness said involved about 10 times the work that preparing to play in, say, Miami would have required.
An industrial launderer will pick up the players’ dirty practice clothing at one location and deliver it clean to another. A chef at the Jets’ London hotel will be flown in to observe how food is cooked and served at team headquarters.