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Pro Football | PLAYOFF NOTES

Assemblyman Wants to Sue NFL

January 08, 2003|From Associated Press

New Jersey Assemblyman Anthony Impreveduto on Tuesday called on the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which runs Giants Stadium, to begin legal action against the NFL because of the officiating errors at the end of Sunday's NFC wild-card game between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers.

The errors prevented the Giants from attempting a potential game-winning field goal in their 39-38 loss.

"New Jersey taxpayers may have been cheated of tax revenue the state would have earned from players' income and other Giants-related enterprises had the team advanced in the playoffs," Impreveduto said in a letter to George Zoffinger, the sports authority president.

Meanwhile, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said the officiating errors were "totally unacceptable" and that the league is looking into ways to avoid a recurrence of the problem.

"What happened at the end in terms of the breakdown of officiating was totally unacceptable to us and it shouldn't have happened with the mechanics already in place," Tagliabue said in a radio interview on Sporting News Radio.

"We are going to be thoroughly reviewing how the breakdown occurred and make certain that it doesn't happen again," he said.

Giant spokesman Pat Hanlon said the team really didn't care. "At this point, unless someone tells us to get on a plane and go to San Francisco to replay the final play or replay the game, what difference does it make?" Hanlon said.

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Beaten up during an exhausting comeback victory against the Cleveland Browns, the Pittsburgh Steelers will limp into Saturday's divisional playoff game at Tennessee off a short week of practice.

Predictably, that's causing some short tempers -- especially that of Coach Bill Cowher, who usually doesn't need an excuse to get worked up.

Unhappy the New York Jets are getting seven days off before they play Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, as opposed to his team's five-day break, Cowher is using the NFL's perceived slight as motivation.

"For us to be handed a [five-day] rest and another [team] to be handed a [seven-day] rest, I don't know where the justification comes in that, but so be it," Cowher said.

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The Raiders' secondary could look nearly normal for the first time in weeks against the Jets.

Charles Woodson could be back from surgery Dec. 24 for a cracked fibula in his right leg and Tory James, who had the same operation on his right leg earlier in the season, will start.

James, also a cornerback, recovered quickly from the same injury, prompting doctors to give Woodson the go-ahead.

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