Sunday, September 23, 2001

Bengals' game on television

NFL lifts blackout rule so more fans can see ceremonies

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        To allow more people to see the patriotic ceremonies planned for today's NFL games, the league Saturday lifted six television blackouts — including in Cincinnati.

        The Bengals-Ravens game will be aired live on CBS affiliates WKRC-TV (Channel 12) and WHIO-TV (Channel 7), even though it failed to sell out by the 1p.m. Thursday deadline.

        The Bengals made the decision to lift the ban after receiving permission from the league office.

        “We support the league's position and are happy we were given the option to lift the blackout,” Bengals president Mike Brown said. “We're glad that more people will be able to enjoy not only the game but also the special events which are planned to honor both our victims and our heroes.”

        The NFL is following the lead of Major League Baseball by honoring victims of the Sept.11 terrorist attacks and the people who have worked on rescue teams.

        The game will match the improved Bengals with the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens, whose defense allowed an NFL-record fewest points (165) last season. Baltimore has won six in a row over the Bengals, including two games last year by a combined score of 64-7.

        Today's NFL games will be the first since the attacks. The league postponed its Sept.16-17 schedule and will make them up the weekend of Jan.5-7.

        Throughout the league today, giant U.S. flags will be unfurled on fields by local firefighters, and NFL Films has created a video that will be shown on television and on stadium scoreboards. There also will be live feeds of special versions of the “Star-Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful.”


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