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August 01, 2000|LARRY STEWART

What: "NFL Century: In Their Words"

Where: ESPN and ABC

When: First of four-part series Saturday, 5 p.m. on ESPN

When NFL Films talks about in-your-face television, it must have had the first one-hour show in this series in mind. NFL players talk about why they play, only the interviews aren't done in the traditional manner but rather with players looking into the camera and talking directly to the viewer.

NFL Films footage is spliced in to accompany the interviews, and it works well.

Dallas Cowboy quarterback Troy Aikman says, "I think sometimes fans don't realize how important it is to us, that it's not about the money, it's still about what it's always been about and that's winning games."

Tampa Bay's Warren Sapp says, "When you have a collection of individuals bonding together for one common goal, it's something so special that you can't image what it's like when you get to that moment."

San Diego's Junior Seau talks about the feeling he gets during the pregame introductions. "That cheer you hear runs right through your body, that feeling, that little high there is what you play the game for," he says.

The second segment in this "NFL Century" series, "Passing the Torch," will be on ABC Aug. 22. Hall of Famers such as Deacon Jones and Otto Graham talk with modern-day counterparts such as Michael Strahan and Tim Couch.

"Coaching 2000," which will be on ESPN on Aug. 22, looks at that aspect of the game, and "Generations" will be on ESPN Aug. 29. Featured in the last segment will be Dan Fouts and his father, Bob, a former San Francisco 49er play-by-play announcer.

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