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The Logistics of an International NFL Road Trip

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Go inside the Chargers’ equipment room on the seventh episode of the Backstage: Chargers Podcast presented by Toyota.

Equipment Manager Chris Smith and his staff detailed their preparations for the Chargers’ Week 7 trip across the pond to take on the Tennessee Titans in London. Highlights from the conversation are below.

Smith on preparing for London when the schedule was released:

“Yeah, we get on that right away and there’s meetings back in the spring with NFL International to go over logistics. And the biggest thing for any international trip is preparing a carnet, which is a manifest of all the equipment because you have to get everything through customs and it has to be pretty precise. So, it’s a lot of information; a lot of collecting data from all the different departments and getting that all put together and then making sure it gets packed accordingly. So, it’s a big process. I think it’s another one of those things we like to do it, that’s why we do it. We kind of enjoy the challenge, so … when the game’s on the field in London, we’ll look at it and say it was totally worth it.”

On playing and practicing in Cleveland before flying to London:

“So, not only are we preparing and packing for two games with two different uniforms – we’ll be wearing navy jerseys in Cleveland and then powder blues in London – but we’re practicing that week in Cleveland. So, we need to bring all the practice gear in Cleveland, and then we’re not taking the practice gear to London. So, we’re going to have to turn around and ship that back to Orange County before we leave for London. So, there’s a lot of making sure this gets transported, this doesn’t – so, it’s got to be very organized. And then we’re doing laundry the whole week in Cleveland and setting up practice fields, so we’ve had to coordinate getting practice equipment in Cleveland – borrow, bring stuff, whatever we need to do to make that happen.”

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