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Sweeping Curve: Playing On Baseball Field

Posted by Stephen Czarda on September 26, 2013 – 10:48 am

Charles Woodson

This time two weeks ago the Redskins were getting bombarded with questions about their thoughts on famed Lambeau Field and the cheeseheads.

Lambeau, which is on every football fan’s dream list of stadiums to visit, gives off a nostalgic feeling and symbolizes football’s roots—smash mouth football, weather that’ll make you wonder if your hands froze off and a simplistic fan experience long before the invention of HD.

Now, they’re getting ready to cross this great nation to the Bay area where they’ll play at O.co Coliseum.

Ehh. So it’s not the same as Lambeau, but its current claim to fame is being the last stadium to cohost a professional baseball and football team.

Baseball season ends in September. Football season starts in September.  So for just a few weeks, the stadium has to accommodate both teams and the only way to do that is to keep the baseball diamond exposed.

Multipurpose stadiums like RFK Stadium have been phased in recent years as teams prefer to have their own homes with unique features.

With grown men wearing shoulder pads bedazzled in spikes yelling in the background, the Redskins will have to adjust to having the base paths under their feet.

How much though?

I’ve got firsthand experience out there, quite a few years,” Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, who coached there for two seasons and has patrolled the opposite sideline too, said.  “The baseball field, it takes a while for the kickers to get used to. The receivers will go out there and get adjusted.

“It is a different type of atmosphere for a kicker because they’re not used to kicking off that infield, so you’ve got to make a decision in the pregame exactly how they’re kicking and then make decisions during the game.”

One of Oakland’s all-time favorites, 16-year veteran safety Charles Woodson rejoined the silver and black this offseason. Now in his ninth season as a Raider, Woodson said he realistically sees no home (dirt) field advantage.

“We all have to play on it,” he said. “The Raiders have got to play on it; Washington has to play on it. I don’t believe it’s a home field advantage.

“At times, they’ll be in the dirt most of the time, and there’s times where we’ll be in the dirt as a team. We all have to go out there. The main thing is to stay low and you’ll be fine.”

Quarterback Robert Griffin III was asked if he’d solicit advice from Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper about proper sliding technique. While we’re still waiting to hear a response from the phenom (I’ve overheard he’s kind of busy), No. 10 has the diamond and slick, shiny gold pants.

Now all we need is the baseball player at the football stadium that has a baseball diamond and is at the end of baseball season but the start of football season.

Welcome to the O.co Coliseum.

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