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COUCH POTATOES EVERYWHERE REJOICE! IT'S NFL KICKOFF '95
Published September 1, 1995
Sunday marks the start of the NFL's 76th season, with new teams in Jacksonville and Carolina, and two old teams in new cities -- the Rams in St. Louis and the Raiders returning to Oakland. Here's a roundup of what's going on around the league: THEY'RE SOLD OUT: In Oakland, the TV blackout for Sunday's Raiders-Chargers game has been lifted as 14,000 single-game tickets were sold between Sunday and yesterday (Koury & Martinez, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/1). A rally will be held today in Oakland's Jack London Square celebrating the team's return (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/1). THEY'RE BLACKED OUT: The Eagles' season opener against the Bucs will be blacked out in the Delaware Valley, as more than 6,000 seats remain unsold at Veterans Stadium. This is the second time in three years an Eagles opener has failed to sell out. NFL TV Coordinator Val Pinchbeck said more than one-third (88 of 224) NFL games were blacked out in home markets in '94 (Mike Bruton, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/1). In Seattle, the Seahawks had sold only 50,500 tickets as of Wednesday for Sunday's opener against the Chiefs in the 66,400-seat Kingdome. Last year, five Seahawks home games were blacked out (TACOMA NEWS TRIBUNE, 8/31). Other blackouts this weekend: Atlanta, Indianapolis, New Orleans. THEY'RE LOCKED IN, FOR THIS WEEK: TX District Judge William Bell yesterday granted Harris County a temporary restraining order against the Oilers barring them from playing home games outside the Astrodome. A full injunction hearing will be held September 13 that could force the team to stay in the dome through '97. County officials say the court action was due to concerns that the team may "try a repeat of the preseason episode" when a game was cancelled due to poor turf conditions (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/1). THEY'RE ISSUING A WARNING: Daniel Connell, the Jaguars Senior VP/Marketing said yesterday that the "people of Houston need to realize the fact that the Oilers could leave," and that bad feelings toward Owner Bud Adams should not "overrule any business logic." Connell warned of the difficulties of getting a new team (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/1). THEY'RE CLEARING THE AIR: The Jaguars Foundation has received a grant to promote anti-smoking initiatives in and around the Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation gave the team $137,000 to develop and install anti-smoking signs in the stadium concourse, including one on the center panel of the North scoreboard. The program will also put anti-smoking messages on 50,000 cards distributed by the team. The Jaguars do not accept tobacco advertising or sell tobacco products (Jaguars). THEY'RE TEACHING: CBS profiled the Jets' "Football 101" -- a class aimed at women. Jets exec Douglas Miller: "We've found studies that show women are the fastest growing group of fans that there are" ("CBS This Morning," 9/1).