Giants-Saints game set for Monday night doubleheader
NEW YORK -- The Giants-Saints game, driven from New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, will be played as part of a nationally televised doubleheader starting at 7:30 p.m on Monday, Sept. 19.
The game, already moved to the Giants' home in the New Jersey Meadowlands, will begin on ABC, then be switched to ESPN at 9 p.m., when ABC goes to the regularly scheduled game between Washington and Dallas in Irving, Texas. In New York and Louisiana, as well as other parts of the Gulf Coast, ABC will continue to carry the Giants-Saints game, switching to Redskins-Cowboys when the Saints game ends.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said other details, such as ticket sales, will be announced soon.
"We appreciate the leadership of ABC and ESPN in helping us turn this particular Monday night into far more than a prime-time football doubleheader, making it part of the overall Gulf Coast relief effort," commissioner Paul Tagliabue said in a statement released by the NFL. "The New Orleans Saints know the importance of rising to help meet the Gulf Coast's extraordinary challenges, and we salute them, too."
The NFL said fund-raising efforts for hurricane relief will be intertwined in the telecasts of both games.
Saints coach Jim Haslett, already miffed at losing a home game, found it curious the NFL would allow this game to overlap with the already scheduled Monday nighter.
"I really don't know why they're doing it," Haslett said, rolling his eyes.
Monday was the likely choice because the Meadowlands is playing host to a soccer game Saturday, Sept. 17 and the New York Jets play the Miami Dolphins there Sunday.
The Saints are still waiting for a decision where they'll play the remaining seven games scheduled for the Superdome. The candidates are LSU's Tiger Stadium, the team's overwhelming choice; the Alamodome in San Antonio, where the Saints are living and practicing; or being on the road for all 16 games.
The scheduling does not totally satisfy the other NFC East teams because the Giants get an extra home game from the switch -- even if they are officially listed as visitors.
"I'd be smart not to comment on that," Dallas coach Bill Parcells said Monday.
The Cowboys are so looking forward to having the national attention on Sept. 19 that they've scheduled the Ring of Honor induction of Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin for halftime of that game.