On September 15, by the end of this week, Oakland will witness an end of an era. Fans look forward to the much-awaited final NFL game that will be played on a field with infield dirt. It will be a tough call, particularly for the players who have till now managed to fulfil their passion for the game even if they have to deal with bad footing, scraped arms, torn jerseys, or injured legs. They accomplished even in the times of hard falls that were not protected with cushions.
The Raiders are set to have the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at the Oakland Coliseum in their last home game before the end of the World series. The Coliseum is apparently the last stadium left with infield dirt that is capable of hosting NFL and baseball teams. Although the Raiders are all set to move to extravagant new dives in Las Vegas one year from now, it is considered that no more players should manage the travails of infield dirt, in a way the eminent players like Joe Montana, Joe Namatha, and Eric Dickerson did during their careers.
Raiders Derek Carr, who is a quarterback player said in his statement that, “It’s like running full speed and then when you get to full speed, belly-flopping on the pavement,” He further added that, “That’s about what it feels like when you hit. If you look around it, our guys are all patched up. Stuff on their knees, tapped up today and things like that. That stuff is like road rash, for real. I wish they’d soften it up, but I guess it needs to be a fast track.”
During the 1960s and 70s, teams slowly started shifting from multipurpose stadiums to those that serve the purpose only for football with price tags of billions. Until 1981, there used to be sharing for the NFL stadiums with the baseball teams. It happened when the Raiders played the last season of their first spell in Oakland, that time 16 of the 28 teams shared the stadium with the baseball teams. There were 10 teams which continued to play in the grass fields featuring infield dirt part till the end of the game. Nevertheless, most of the famous baseball stadiums like Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, and the Wrigley stadium allowed the hosting of professional football teams. Hence Sunday's game is a throwback.
In any case, the Coliseum has outlasted its helpfulness to the Raiders, who chose to move to Las Vegas when they couldn't arrive at an arrangement with neighbourhood authorities on designs for another arena in Oakland. Apart from the issue related to infield dirt, there are the confined storage spaces intended for 25-man baseball teams as opposed to 53-man football players. There are public interviews held in weight rooms and batting cages. There are floods and different accidents that the teams need to evade.