First year Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly really does seem to have a lot of odd things on his mind in the run up to the Sun Bowl, which will see his team reignite its historical rivalry with the Miami Hurricanes. First, he was just glad that El Paso, Texas, doesn't have nude beaches like the bastion of sin known as South Beach. Now he's just hoping that his players don't wander over across the Mexican border and get caught up in Mexican drug trade violence.
Kelly has revoked all of the player's passports. El Paso is right on the Mexican border, and across the river from the notorious town of Juarez, which has been humbly dubbed "the most violent zone in the world outside of declared war zones." The drug trade, wide spread corruption and poverty have lead to a dizzying amount of murders. 2,600 people were killed in the city in 2009 alone.
"That's serious. Don't go over the border, or you may not come back, simply," Kelly told The Journal Gazette. "Now I know El Paso is the safest city in the country, but it's serious. This isn't, 'Hey, let's give it a shot, guys, and jump in the car and see what it's like.' You can't go there, or nobody is going to be able to help you. There's just been too much turmoil. ... You take the passports, they can't get back. These guys are smart enough to know that."
The Miami Hurricanes' interim coaching staff probably has a lot on its mind right now, but maybe that's not such a bad idea. I mean, all those gang, poverty and drug violence might remind the Miami boys of home, so perhaps the team should take some precautions to make sure the players stay out of Juarez.