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NFL opener may start earlier for the Giants


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The Giants will battle the Redskins to open their title defense and the 2008 NFL season.

The Giants' defense of their NFL title begins on Thursday night, Sept. 4, at home against the Washington Redskins.

An official announcement is expected to come at the NFL owners' meetings on Monday, but according to a league source the game is set. It will kickoff at 7 p.m. instead of 8:30. The NFL and NBC agreed to push up the start of the game so it will be less of a conflict with the final night of the Republican National Convention.

Though the early opener usually goes to the defending champs, the Giants weren't a lock to host it because of all the offsite parking they need while their new stadium is being constructed. They had asked the NFL not to schedule any weekday games at Giants Stadium until construction was completed. But they apparently were able to strike a deal with the local businesses that provide the parking so they could make what one team source called "a one-time only exception."

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