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1996 Jun 27
A Dallas police officer was charged with trying to hire a hit man to kill football star Michael Irvin; Johnnie Hernandez later pleaded guilty to solicitation of capital murder. He was sentenced to serve two concurrent six-year prison terms, and was paroled in 1998.

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1996 Dec 6
Pete Rozelle, former NFL football commissioner, died in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., at age 70.
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1997 Jan 10
Dallas police ended their investigation into Dallas Cowboys stars Erik Williams and Michael Irvin, saying a woman's claim that Williams raped her while Irvin held a gun to her head was false.
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1997 Jan 12
The Green Bay Packers defeated the Carolina Panthers, 30-13, to win the NFC Championship, while the New England Patriots beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-6 to claim the AFC Championship.
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1997 Jan 26
The Green Bay Packers beat the New England Patriots 35-21 to win Super Bowl XXXI, their first Super Bowl in 29 years.
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1997 Apr 6
Jack Kent Cooke (84), owner of the Washington Redskins, died. Settlement of his will took 7 years and cost $64 million in professional fees.
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1997 Jun
In Washington State voters narrowly approved a huge public subsidy for Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, for a new $425 million football stadium. Mr. Allen would pay 25% and the rest would come from taxpayers.
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1997 Nov 7
In Concord, Ca., the De La Salle High School football team under coach Bob Ladoucer won their 73rd straight game and broke a 1975 record set by Hudson, Mich., High School.
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1997 Dec 3
It was reported that former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, Edward J. DeBartolo, owner of the SF 49ers, and three others were about to be indicted for alleged fraud. DeBartolo was caught offering to pay the governor as much as $400,000 for a riverboat casino license.
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1997 Dec 13
Michigan Wolverine Charles Woodson was named winner of the Heisman Trophy, the first primarily defensive player so honored.
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1998 Jan 1
The 109th Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena was held and Univ. of Michigan beat Washington State 21-16, Florida State downed Ohio State 31-14 in the Sugar Bowl.
Links: USA, California, Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Washington, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Jan 9
Barry Switzer's era with the Dallas Cowboys ended with the announcement of the coach's resignation.
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1998 Jan 11
The Denver Broncos beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 24-21, to win the American Football Conference Championship; the Green Bay Packers defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 23-10, to claim the National Football Conference Championship.
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1998 Jan 12
CBS signed a $4 billion eight-year deal to televise American Football Conference games on Sunday afternoons; Fox signed a $4.4 billion eight-year contract to continue showing National Football Conference games on Sunday afternoons.
Links: TV, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Jan 13
The National Football League completed a blockbuster $9.2 billion deal with the Walt Disney Co., which got to keep "Monday Night Football" for ABC and won the entire Sunday night cable package for ESPN.
Links: TV, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1998 Jan 25
In Superbowl XXXII the Denver Broncos faced the Green Bay Packers. The Broncos led by John Elway won their first Super Bowl title in four tries, defeating the Green Bay Packers 31-24.
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1998 Mar 8
Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Nitschke died in Florida at age 61.
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1998 Sep 24
Eddie DeBartolo, co-owner of the SF 49ers, struck a deal with federal prosecutors to keep out of jail. He will pay a fine and testify against former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.
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1998 Nov 12
Lewis Merletti, head of the Secret Service, quit his position to coordinate security for the Cleveland Browns football team.
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1999 Jan 17
The defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos defeated the New York Jets, 23-10, to win the American Football Conference title; the Atlanta Falcons upset the Minnesota Vikings, 30-27, to win the National Football Conference championship.
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1999 Jan 31
In Florida the Denver Broncos, led by quarterback John Elway, beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-19 in Super Bowl XXXIII. There were 127.5 million viewers for Fox Broadcasting.
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1999 Mar 17
Instant replay was voted back in the NFL for the 1999 season.
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1999 Oct 6
The US NFL voted to place an expansion team in Houston after Bob McNair agreed to pay $700 million for a franchise to begin in 2002. This left Los Angeles, the second-largest TV market in the nation, without a football team.
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1999 Nov 1
Former Chicago Bear NFL star Walter Payton died at age 45 from a rare cancer of the bile duct. He made the NFL Hall of Fame in 1993.
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1999 Dec 11
Ron Dayne, Wisconsinís record-setting tailback, was a landslide winner in the Heisman Trophy balloting.
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2000 Jan 1
Wisconsin beat Stanford, 17-to-9, to become the first Big Ten team to win consecutive Rose Bowls.
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2000 Jan 23
The Tennessee Titans advanced to the Super Bowl by beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 33-to-14 in the AFC Championship game. The St. Louis Rams defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11-to-6 to win the NFC Championship.
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2000 Jan 23
NFL star Derrick Thomas was injured when the sport utility vehicle he was driving overturned on an icy road in Missouri; Thomas died February eighth. The crash also claimed the life of Thomasí friend, Michael Tellis.
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2000 Jan 29
Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott, architects of San Franciscoís Super Bowl dynasty, were among five individuals elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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2000 Jan 30
In Atlanta the St. Louis Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans 23-16 in Super Bowl XXXIV.
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2000 Jan 31
Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis was charged with murder in the deaths of two people outside an Atlanta nightclub hours after the Super Bowl. Lewis ended his trial early by pleading guilty to obstruction of justice; two co-defendants were acquitted at trial.
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2000 Feb 6
The NFC defeated the AFC 51-to-31 in the Pro Bowl.
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2000 Feb 12
Hall-of-Fame football coach Tom Landry, who led the Dallas Cowboys to five Super Bowls, died in Irving, Texas, at age 75.
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2000 Jun 5
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count under an agreement that dropped murder charges in the stabbing deaths of two men outside a Super Bowl party in Atlanta. Lewis was sentenced to a year of probation.
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2000 Nov 29
Lou Groza (76), the Cleveland Browns' Hall of Fame kicker and lineman affectionately known as The Toe," died.
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2000 Dec 9
Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke won the Heisman Trophy.
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2001 Jan 1
No. 4 Washington beat No. 14 Purdue 34-to-24 in the Rose Bowl.
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2001 Jan 3
Oklahoma defeated Florida State, 13-to-2, to win the Orange Bowl and capture college football's Bowl Championship Series title game.
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2001 Jan 14
The matchup for Super Bowl 35 was decided as the New York Giants shut out the Minnesota Vikings, 41-to-0, to win the NFC championship and the Baltimore Ravens beat the Oakland Raiders, 16-to-3, to gain the AFC title.
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2001 Jan 19
Former NFL player Rae Carruth was acquitted of first-degree murder but convicted of conspiracy and two other charges in the fatal shooting of his pregnant girlfriend. Carruth was later sentenced to a minimum of 18 years, 11 months in prison and a maximum of 24 years, four months.
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2001 Jan 27
Lynn Swann and Ron Yary were both elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on in their 14th year of eligibility.
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2001 Jan 28
Super Bowl XXXV was played in Tampa. The Baltimore Ravens defeated the New York Giants 34-7.
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2001 Feb 3
The 8-member XFL football league, created by WWF guru Vince McMahon, made its debut on NBC. The Las Vegas Outlaws beat the New York-New Jersey Hitmen 19-0 in Las Vegas, and the Orlando Rage beat the Chicago Enforcers 33-29 in Florida. The XFL folded after just one season.
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2001 Apr 21
The Los Angeles Xtreme beat the San Francisco Demons 38-to-6 in the first and last XFL championship game.
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2001 May 10
NBC and the World Wrestling Federation cancelled the XFL.
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2001 Aug 1
Pro Bowl tackle Korey Stringer died of heat stroke, a day after collapsing at the Minnesota Vikings' training camp on the hottest day of the year.
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2001 Sep 6
The NFL referees' union rejected the league's latest contract offer and replacement officials worked the opening weekend of the regular season.
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2001 Oct 24
O.J. Simpson was acquitted in Miami of grabbing another driver's glasses and scratching the man's face in a road-rage argument that the former football star insisted was started by the other guy.
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2001 Nov 3
Arkansas beat Mississippi 58-56 in seven overtimes in the longest NCAA college football game in history, one that lasted four hours and 14 minutes.
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2001 Nov 16
A University of Georgia football fan rushing to catch his flight ran past guards and through a passenger exit at Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport, forcing officials to halt flights; the man, Michael Lasseter, was later sentenced to five weekends or 10 days in jail and 500 hours of community service.
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2001 Dec 8
Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch was awarded the Heisman Trophy.
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2001 Dec 16
Cleveland Browns fans threw thousands of bottles onto the field after officials overturned a last-minute call, a decision that helped the Jacksonville Jaguars win the game 15-10.
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2001 Dec 31
Notre Dame tapped Tyrone Willingham to be its football coach, replacing George O'Leary, who'd resigned because of misstatements about his academic and athletic achievements on his resume; Willingham became the first black head coach in any sport for the Irish.
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2002 Jan 1
No. 2 Oregon defeated No. 3 Colorado 38-16 in the Fiesta Bowl.
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2002 Jan 2
The No. 5 Florida Gators crushed No. 6 Maryland 56-23 in the Orange Bowl.
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2002 Jan 3
Miami beat Nebraska 37-14 in the Rose Bowl.
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2002 Jan 4
Florida coach Steve Spurrier resigned to pursue an NFL job, two days after leading the Gators to victory over Maryland in the Orange Bowl.
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2002 Jan 13
Pres. Bush lost consciousness briefly after he choked on a cookie while watch-ing a football game on TV.
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2002 Jan 27
The Feb 3 Super Bowl matchup was decided as the New England Patriots upset the Pittsburgh Steelers, 24-to-17, to win the AFC championship and the St. Louis Rams defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 29-to-24, to win the NFC championship.
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2002 Feb 1
The NCAA placed Alabama on five years' probation, jolting the football program with a two-year bowl ban and heavy scholarship reductions.
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