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A game day like no other

Week 1 features a rare treat unique to the 16 other weeks of the season

Originally Published: September 6, 2011
By Ross Tucker | ESPN.com

There's nothing like the opener. Not in the regular season, anyway. Whether it is the unbridled optimism that comes with the promise of a new beginning or just the excitement of finally getting started after a long offseason, the first game in the NFL is unique.

Sure, that same feeling permeates every locker room at each level of football from Pop Warner through college football. The difference is that at the lower levels, those same youthful, enthusiastic vibes are usually readily ...

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