SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The Astrodome is likely to be demolished after Houston voters rejected a plan Tuesday to turn it into a convention center.
“I really liked the Astrodome,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew. Madden visited the stadium as coach of the Raiders in the late 60s and 70s when they played the Oilers.
“When I first came into the AFL, I was coming out of college coaching, and we really weren’t sure if the AFL was going to work or not…And the thing that impressed me about the AFL was they had two good stadiums. They had the Astrodome in Houston and Shea Stadium in New York.”
Madden liked the stadium, but not the playing surface.
“You can’t grow grass indoors, so it had to be artificial turf,” Madden said. “They had the hardest artificial turf in the world. That was just like thin carpet put over concrete. And when you hit that, it really did hurt.”
For John, memories of the Astrodome bring back memories of Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell.
“He was probably the greatest Oiler of them all,” John said. “He was something special. He was hard to get down.” (7:20)