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NFL questions and answers


© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 14, 2001

Q: Will Week 2's games be made up or canceled?

A: The league hasn't made a decision.

Q: What should ticket-holders for Week 2 games do?

A: Hold on to those tickets and wait. When the league decides whether to reschedule or cancel, it will provide information about tickets. If the games are rescheduled, it's likely Week 2 tickets will be honored for the rescheduled date.

Q: What are the possible scenarios for dealing with Week 2 games?

A: The league might not make up the games, thus reducing the regular season to 15 games, although San Diego, which has a bye this weekend, would play 16 games. Or the league could scrub the wild-card weekend (Jan. 5-6) and play Week 2 games then.

Q: If the games are rescheduled during the wild-card weekend, how would that impact the playoffs?

A: The league said that likely would mean the playoffs would be reduced to eight teams (six division winners and a wild-card team from each conference) and the playoffs would begin at the conference semifinal stage.

Q: If I can't attend a rescheduled game, can I get a refund?

A: Perhaps, but it's not likely.

Q: How much is Thursday's announcement going to cost the NFL in lost revenue and TV money?

A: Probably not much if the games are rescheduled. But the minimum revenue loss for the Bucs, based on an average attendance of 65,596 at an average ticket price of $70.61 (does not include luxury seating), is $4,631,734 (gross revenue figure does not include parking, souvenirs or concessions).

Q: Did the league consider playing just a few games?

A: Yes. There was much discussion about postponing only games involving teams from Washington, New York and Pittsburgh. And there was talk of letting individual teams decide whether to play.

Q: Is it possible the league might move the Super Bowl back a week?

A: The idea came up, but league officials didn't give it much serious thought.

Q: Will security be tightened around stadiums when the schedule resumes?

A: It likely will, although league officials aren't giving details.

Q: Will players get paid?

A: The league and the NFLPA are working out the details. Players usually get paid early in the week following after a game, and the paycheck usually is one-sixteenth of their annual salary. Team representative Mark Royals said that if the salary structure remains intact and the makeup game is played, players will get paid for the makeup game. But there is some uncertainty.

Q: Does the team have any plans to pay tribute or honor the victims of Tuesday's terrorist attacks?

A: Initially the Bucs planned various tributes during Sunday's home game but said they will look into alternatives. General manager Rich McKay said such tributes were in the early planning stages.

Q: What will the team do over the next few weeks?

A: The Bucs plan to face the next two weeks as though they were back-to-back bye weeks. The team will practice today and take the weekend off. The Bucs will practice Monday, Wednesday and Thursday before taking next weekend off. Players will return to regular practice Sept. 24.

Q: How will the layoff affect the team?

A: Coach Tony Dungy said the team likely would spend the next two weeks practicing against itself and wait until Sept. 24 to begin planning for the Vikings. "We can't let it effect us," Dungy said. "We kind of have to get into a training camp mode and practice against ourselves for a couple of weeks. And whenever it is, and we don't know for sure if we'll be playing on the 30th, but whenever we come back we've got to be ready to play."

Q: How much concern did players have for security?

A: A number of players said they didn't have many fears about getting on an airplane because the team travels on charters. But they did admit playing in packed stadiums may not have been the most prudent thing. "It just isn't safe," defensive tackle Warren Sapp said. "You can't pack 72,000 people into Raymond James Stadium and sit there for 3 1/2 hours and say everything's going to be okay."

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