The NFL has unveiled its plans for the 10th anniversary of 9/11, with a league-wide effort in which players and fans “will take time to remember the courage and resilience that followed the events of Sept. 11, 2001.”
The day will include special tributes in stadium, on field and on TV during all games on Sunday, Sept. 11, which is part of the NFL’s kickoff weekend.
The first Sunday of the NFL regular season falls on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. This marks the second time a 9/11 anniversary has fallen on the first Sunday of the NFL season since 2001. In 2005, the fourth anniversary of 9/11 also was on a Sunday.
According to the league, the games and broadcasts on the Sept. 11 “will unite fans to recognize those who lost their lives, honor the families who lost loved ones, and salute the American spirit, the early responders on 9/11, and other heroes that contributed to the nation’s recovery.
The league said that its schedule of games for that day was “designed to appropriately commemorate 9/11 on a national level and what it represents to Americans.”
Eight games will kick off at 1:00 PM ET, including the CBS game featuring the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are based approximately 80 miles from Shanksville, PA.
The 4:15 PM ET window of four games includes Fox’s telecast of the Washington Redskins hosting the New York Giants.
That night, the Dallas Cowboys will play the New York Jets on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
The NFL will said it would synchronize pre-game salutes during the Sunday afternoon CBS and Fox telecasts, followed by a special Sunday night presentation from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, on NBC. The special pre-game events that will be televised nationally also will be shown on video screens in each of the stadiums hosting games that day.
All games in each of the broadcast windows (1:00 PM, 4:15 PM and Sunday Night Football) will feature a special video introduction followed by performances of Taps from near the sites of the attacks, and moments of silence.
For the 1:00 PM games, Taps will be performed in Shanksville, PA, while the 4:15 PM games will feature a rendition from Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. The Sunday night game will include a performance from Hoboken, NJ, looking across the Hudson River to Ground Zero. Coaches, players and local first responders and other heroes will come together to hold field-length American flags for the playing of the National Anthem prior to each game.
The nationally televised Cowboys-Jets game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, will feature additional special pre-game and halftime presentations.
Players, coaches and sideline personnel will wear a special NFL 9/11 ribbon as a patch or pin on their uniforms and sideline apparel. All stadiums hosting games on Sept. 11 will feature the ribbon logo on the field.
The NFL and the NFL Players Association will contribute $1 million to three memorials and two charities related to the events of 9/11: $500,000 to the 9/11 Museum & Memorial in Lower Manhattan, and $250,000 to be divided between the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, PA, and the Pentagon Memorial Fund in Washington, D.C.
In addition, the NFL and NFLPA will donate all proceeds from the sale of auction items from games played on Sept. 11, 2011. The league said that NFL Auction proceeds are expected to total at least $250,000.
People can bid on at NFL.com/Auction. Items will include game-worn autographed player jerseys, coaches and player hats, and commemorative game coins used during those games.
NFL Auction proceeds will be divided equally between Tuesday’s Children and MyGoodDeed.