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Thursday, September 4, 2008
Live from New York: It's opening night

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

NEW YORK -- As I walked around the Meatpacking District last night, I was a little surprised to see replicas of Giants defensive end Justin Tuck's No. 91 hanging from street signs. Tuck's certainly a force on defense, but it still seemed odd that he would have such a large presence in the buildup to the game.

I haven't hit the streets yet this morning, but the USA Today outside my hotel room (17 square feet) has a 14-page special section on tonight's game. Of course, the NFL took up three of those pages with advertisements.

Before tonight's game, we'll hear from Usher, Keith Urban and Natasha Bedingfield in New York's Columbus Circle. The free concert has become a staple of opening night since former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue called for the season-opener to be played in New York in 2002 to honor the victims of 9/11 and salute the city's resilience.

Before the game, NBC (and I'm sure the Jumbotron at Giants Stadium) will air a video tribute to the defending champs narrated by James Gandolfini. Rest assured that Tom Coughlin has already warned his team about not getting caught up in the moment.

The Redskins won't show up in a celebratory mood, so the Giants can't afford to bask in the Super Bowl glow. And judging by recent comments, I honestly think most of them have grown tired of looking back.

My column on tonight's game should be up sometime this morning, so just keep hitting "refresh" every 10 seconds or so.