After playing their final Monday night game in Coliseum, another less glamorous farewell will take place against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Farewell, infield dirt. The old cliche, "three yards and a cloud of dust" can be retired forever.
When the Raiders host the Chiefs Sunday, it will be the last time the Coliseum has an NFL game with a dirt baseball infield. The Raiders leave town after Week 2 and aren't back until Nov. 3 against the Detroit Lions. The World Series concludes Oct. 30, so even if the Athletics were to win at home in seven games, there would be enough time to get an all grass field ready for the remainder of the Raiders' NFL home season.
Which to Chiefs coach Andy Reid is kind of sad, although he may have had his tongue firmly planted in his cheek when talking to Bay Area reporters on a conference call.
"You still have the baseball infield," Reid said. "These guys can tell their grand kids, 'You know what? They used to play baseball (there) and we used to go out during the baseball season and play on the dirt. Literally. I think there's something to that."
Given that the Raiders are the last team playing in a multi-use stadium before heading to Las Vegas next season, it means Sunday could be the last in regular season game in NFL history played with a partial dirt surface.
Gruden, with his signature sarcasm, took the question about as seriously as Reid when asked if his team had an advantage because of its experience on dirt.
"It's a big advantage. Our guys love it so much," Gruden said. "It's like when we were in Tampa and it was a 120-degree heat index and everybody said it was an advantage to us."
Then Gruden warmed up a bit.
"I like the old elements of football, I've been accused of being old school," Gruden said. "I know a lot of friends like me that like watching a football game on the dirt. I used to like to play in the yard, but it's going to be pretty neat, Chiefs-Raiders on the dirt one more time."
As for the dirt changing strategy, Gruden said "I'm not that smart," although he did concede there may be times to try and get a place kick on grass instead of dirt if possible.
Derek Carr recalled a tweet by former NFL running back Justin Forsett about the thrill of playing on the dirt.
"It's like running and when you get to full speed, belly flopping on the pavement," Carr said. "That's about what it feels like when you get hit. If you look around, our guys are patched up. Stuff on their knees, taped up today. 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."
Rookie running back Josh Jacobs was aware the Raiders played early-season games on the dirt but conceded, "I'm not going to say I'm a fan of it ... it's hard to make the cuts that you want, it rips through jerseys. You leave the game with a lot of scratches and stuff like that. I was telling people the ground hurt more than the tackling."