SBD/April 20, 2011/Franchises

NFL Schedule: Giants To Play Redskins On Sept. 11, While Jets Play Host To Cowboys

Redskins will host Giants on Sept. 11 for their season opener
The first Sunday of the '11 NFL season “falls on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and the NFL planned a matchup of the Giants and the host Washington Redskins to recognize the day,” according to Judy Battista of the N.Y. TIMES. There had been “speculation that the Jets would host the Giants to mark the Sept. 11 anniversary.” A source said that the NFL “gave the matchup consideration, but given the complexities of the schedule, the league could not make that game work for the opener.” Instead, the Jets will host the Cowboys at New Meadowlands Stadium in the first of the Jets’ five primetime games. The Giants and Jets “will play Saturday, Dec. 24, in a Jets home game” (N.Y. TIMES, 4/20). Jets coach Rex Ryan said of the Sept. 11 opener, “That stadium is going to be full of emotion, not only the people from the area but in the entire country.” The AP noted Pittsburgh was the “third NFL city most closely affected by the terrorist attacks after Flight 93 crashed” near Shanksville, Pa., and the Steelers will visit the Ravens on Sept. 11 (AP, 4/19). YAHOO SPORTS’ Dan Wetzel wrote the NFL “did the right thing Tuesday by announcing a pair of meaningful matchups for this historic date.” Wetzel: “In many ways this is what the NFL does best: Bring the country together” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/19).

NORTHERN EXPOSURE: In Toronto, Chris Zelkovich notes the Bills will host the Redskins on Oct. 30 at Rogers Centre in Toronto in the latest edition of the Bills Toronto Series, which "has been a financial success for the Bills, but hasn't been an on-field hit." The game "will be the fourth in the Bills' Toronto series, all of them losses." Based on last year's standings, the matchup "doesn't look all that thrilling." The Redskins "finished with a 6-10 record and were at the bottom of their division," while the Bills "were also last in their division with a 4-12 record." Zelkovich notes the game "will come two days after the Toronto Argonauts play a Canadian Football League game in Winnipeg." Last year, the Bills' game against the Bears was "played the same day the Argos took on the Alouettes in Montreal" (TORONTO STAR, 4/20). In Toronto, Mike Ganter reports "actual ticket sales and prices will not be announced until the work stoppage is resolved," though fans "looking to reserve a seat for the game can do so by ... putting down a refundable $25 deposit." Fans "who have already purchased tickets for the game through Series packages will receive a full refund if the game is not played" (TORONTO SUN, 4/20).
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