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Never again football on red


The Oakland Raiders' NFL game against the Kansas City Chiefs will go down in the history books - last on clay. A look back at torn jerseys, abrasions and open knees.

The action was spectacular and historic at the same time. The latter could not yet know the two protagonists at this time. Last Sunday's Oakland Raiders NFL game against Kansas City Chiefs guest quarterback Patrick Mahomes served his wide receiver Demarcus Robinson with a 39-yard pass just before the half-time break before catching the ball despite an opponent's distress. And how he caught him: Robinson stood with his back to the end zone, grabbed and completed the move by roll backwards to the touchdown.

@ PatrickMahomes tosses his 4th touchdown of the quarter! That's @Demarcus Robinson's 2nd TD reception of the game! #ChiefsKingdom #KCvsOAK

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- NFL (@NFL) September 15, 2019

It was the fourth and final touchdown of the game that won Kansas 28:10. And it was one for the NFL history book. Mahomes stood by his passport on reddish-brown clay - and Robinson's shirt back and arms were breaded after his roll with that clay. Nothing special at Oakland Coliseum games, as the Raiders have been sharing the arena with the Oakland Athletics baseball pros since 1968.

New stadium for nearly two billion dollars

And as NFL and MLB seasons overlap in September and baseball players play-off in October, fans and footballers are used to the wide sand-bow from one 20-yard line to the other. But this game between the Raiders and the Chiefs was the last in NFL history with a baseball infield. Their next home game, the Raiders carry out on October 6 in London. When they return to the Coliseum on November 3rd, the baseball season will be over and a complete turf will be laid. And from 2020, the traditional club in Las Vegas is at home. There, a stadium is being built for almost two billion dollars.

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US sports history: football dramas on baseball fields

In times of imposing and expensive hi-tech arenas like Las Vegas, Dallas or Atlanta, Oakland's Coliseum is the last relic of a bygone era. What began there on 18 September 1966 with a 10: 32 defeat of the Raiders against the Chiefs, ended now 53 years later against the same club. In between are 323 NFL games and more than 4,000 MLB games.

Community use with the baseball players

As in Oakland, there once was a common venue for baseball and football in many US cities. Of the current 32 NFL teams, 25 shared an arena with the local MLB team. At first they were pure baseball stadiums, with a football field drawn every autumn. Even America's most famous ballparks, such as the old Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park in Boston or Wrigley Field in Chicago, have been home to NFL teams for many years.

Lachlan Cunningham / AFP

From now on, the underground will also be green throughout the home games of the Raiders

In the sixties and seventies, multipurpose arenas were created in many places, which offered space for both sports. However, the lower ranks had to be partially rebuilt to make the baseball diamond a football rectangle. When the Raiders left Oakland in 1981 and moved to Los Angeles for twelve years, 16 of the then 28 NFL clubs played in multi-purpose stadiums.

Financial advantage of own stadium

If cost-cutting was the key to building a common arena, financial temptations eventually led to football treats and baseball teams starting to go their separate ways from the mid-1990s. Having your own stadium means more viewership in the case of NFL clubs, so more revenue and better marketing opportunities.

Gone are the days when footballers knock the dirt off their arms and legs after a tackle. And the saying "Three yards and a cloud of dust" is a thing of the past. The fans in Oakland may therefore fall into nostalgia, the players, however, will not miss the hard work background. Oakland matches were often synonymous with torn jerseys, abrasions, knees and elbows.

In Oakland Coliseum: Go outside right now, sprint as fast as you can in the middle of the street belly flop on the pavement. #Facts

- Justin Forsett (@JForsett) September 10, 2019

"If you want to know what it feels like to fall into the dirt of the Oakland Coliseum, get out of here, walk down the street as fast as you can and then throw yourself onto the pavement.", Former running back Justin Forsett tweeted. Even ex-Raiders coach Jack Del Rio described the underground as a "concrete block".

He could not say that he would miss the Coliseum, said Kansas City's Long Snapper James Winchester after Sunday's game. But he was glad to have had the opportunity to play there. The same goes for Patrick Mahomes. He made his first appearance in Oakland last December. At that time, however, was a complete turf. This time around, the Chiefs quarterback played just that hard, muddy ground his father, Pat, had lost as a pitcher with the Minnesota Twins exactly 24 years earlier, on September 15, 1995, at Oakland A's 5: 6.

Source: spiegel

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