NFL teams, players and fans will participate in special activities during Sunday and Monday night games to honor the victims of last week's terrorism and salute the heroes of the rescue and recovery mission, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced.
"The NFL is part of American life," said Commissioner Tagliabue. "We play one role in the healing process by playing our games, honoring the victims and heroes, and by saluting brotherhood, diversity and tolerance."
Among the planned activities:
· All NFL players will wear a special American flag decal (1 7/8" x 1 ¼") on the lower right back of their helmets for the rest of the season. Players, coaching and other personnel from all teams will also wear on the sidelines team caps with the flag imprinted on the right side panel for the rest of the season. The caps are for game use only and are not for sale.
· All game telecasts Sunday afternoon will open with a 60-second piece prepared by NFL Films recognizing the unprecedented events of the past week. The piece will also air in the stadiums.
· The NFL will also tape this week with national recording artists two special presentations of "America the Beautiful" that will air in stadiums and on all CBS and FOX telecasts prior to kickoff during the Sunday afternoon games. The Sunday night game on ESPN and Monday Night Football on ABC will also feature presentations of the song with additional national performers.
· A moment of silence will be observed before each game this weekend.
· This weekend's home teams will arrange for local and national artists to perform the "Star-Spangled Banner," accompanied by volunteer members of the community.
· The coin toss ceremony will include local volunteer groups as honorary captains.
· A giant American flag or "Stars and Stripes" display will be unfurled by members of local volunteer groups at each stadium during pregame for the singing of "America the Beautiful," and the "Star-Spangled Banner."
· All fans attending NFL games will receive American flags (4' by 6'). The NFL has purchased 1 million flags to pass out at home games. Those teams not playing at home this weekend will distribute American flags the following week.
· Fans will also receive a 4-page pamphlet with the words to the "Star-Spangled Banner," "God Bless America" and "America the Beautiful."
· Special red, white and blue NFL bunting with the inspirational words, "United We Stand," (logo shown above and attached below) will be displayed in every stadium's endzone and along the sidelines.
Raiders Agree to Reschedule Game
In the aftermath of last week's tragic incidents, the NFL and other sports leagues have been forced to adjust their schedules.
In an effort to help, the Oakland Raiders have agreed to move their Sunday, October 21 game against the Dallas Cowboys to Sunday, October 7 to avoid a possible stadium conflict with the Oakland A's.
Despite their game having previously been scheduled, the Raiders were willing to give up the right to play at Network Associates Coliseum on October 21 to accommodate a possible Oakland A's baseball game in the American League Championship Series. The Cowboys were willing to adjust their schedule as well.
The Raiders and Cowboys both have a bye scheduled on Sunday, October 7, making the move possible.
The Raiders will now host the Cowboys at Network Associates Coliseum at 1:15 PM PT on October 7. The clubs will both have their byes on Sunday, October 21, the date previously scheduled for the game.
Cowboy's Smith Needs 64 Yards to Pass Sanders
Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith, with 64 rushing yards this Sunday, can pass former Detroit Lions great Barry Sanders for second place in career rushing yards. Smith ranks third all-time with 15,206 yards behind Sanders' 15,269. In first place is Walter Payton with 16,726 yards.
Smith can accomplish the milestone when the Cowboys host the San Diego Chargers.