BOSTON (CBS) — With the Oakland Raiders moving to Las Vegas next season, the team will say farewell to the famous Oakland Coliseum this weekend. On Friday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick recalled some fond — albeit interesting — memories of the stadium.
Those memories mostly involved the wild Raiders fans who filled the stadium every Sunday.
“Pretty intense fans. It’s like Halloween every Sunday there,” Belichick said with a grin. “It’s just a great environment. Baseball stadium, so it’s configured that way, which you don’t see anymore. We had some great games out there when I was with the Broncos, especially at that time in 1978. I’m pretty sure the Broncos won the division that year, we were right there with the Raiders; it was Raiders-Broncos in an intense rivalry. There was the game, and then all the other aspects of the game.”
There were a few times when Belichick entered the stadium to take on the L.A. Rams, but those crowds didn’t compare to the Raiders faithful.
“The Oakland crowd was a lot more intense than the L.A. crowd. We’ll miss it,” he said.
The Patriots haven’t played in Oakland since 2011, when they beat the Raiders 31-19. But whenever Belichick’s teams paid a visit to the historic stadium, he made sure to warn them to keep their heads on a swivel. That was especially the case whenever they were close to the “black hole,” the section in the south end zone that was home to the most rabid fans.
“We warmed up down there. It’s not really where you want to be as a visiting coach,” Belichick recalled. “I told players not to stand too close to me in case they threw something and missed.”
WBZ-TV has wall-to-wall coverage of Sunday’s Patriots-Bengals game, starting with Patriots GameDay at 11:30am. Kickoff is set for 1pm, and after the game stay tuned for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!