For as long as most of us have been alive there have been a handful of NFL games each year in which, in the early part of the season at least, football was played on a dirt infields of Major League Baseball ballparks.
September Jets games at Shea Stadium and Falcons games at Fulton-County are the ones that immediately spring to my mind, but there were a ton of them during the era of the multi-use stadium. Anaheim. San Diego. Miami. Even Detroit as late as the mid-70s. No matter how common it was, however, it never seemed quite right to see a wide receiver cross over the middle and make a catch only to be tackled at, roughly, second base, hitting the white line-painted dirt in a cloud of dust.
As of today, however, that’s almost certainly a thing of the past. As Jay Busbee of Yahoo notes, yesterday’s Chiefs-Raiders game in Oakland most likely ends a very long era. The Raiders have one more “home” game before the end of the baseball season, but it’s in London. Between that, road games and a bye week, the next time they’ll play in Oakland is on November 3 against the Lions.
By then it’s likely that new turf will have been laid down to cover the infield, as is done every year once the Boys of Summer go home for the winter. Although if the A’s make the World Series and they have home field advantage — and if the thing goes six or seven games — there could be a baseball game there four or five days before, which may not provide enough time to make the new grass happen.
If that’s the case we may get one more dirt bowl.