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2002 Feb 2
Jim Kelly of the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers star John Stallworth were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Links: Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Feb 9
Oakland's Rich Gannon led the AFC to a 38-30 victory over the NFC in the Pro Bowl.
Links: Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Sep 11
Johnny Unitas (b.1933), Hall of Fame football quarterback, died in Baltimore. In 2006 Tom Callahan authored “Johnny U, The Life and Times of John Unitas.”
Links: USA, Maryland, Football, Biography     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Sep 18
Bob Hayes (59), former Olympic gold medal sprinter (1964) and Dallas Cowboy, died.
Links: Football, Texas     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Oct 27
Emmitt Smith broke the NFL career rushing yardage record held by the late Walter Payton.
Links: Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2002 Dec 25
Katie Hnida became the first woman to play in a Division I football game when she attempted an extra point following a New Mexico touchdown in the Las Vegas Bowl. Hnida, a walk-on junior, had her kick blocked but by then she had already made history in the 27-13 loss to UCLA.
Links: New Mexico, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Jan 1
Oklahoma romped past Washington State 34-14 in the Rose Bowl; Georgia defeated Florida State 26-13 in the Sugar Bowl; Notre Dame saw its sixth straight bowl loss, losing to North Carolina State 28-6 in the Gator Bowl.
Links: Georgia, North Carolina, Washington, Football, Indiana, Oklahoma     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Jan 1
Joe Foss (87), former South Dakota Gov. and World War II hero who also served as president of the National Rifle Association and commissioner of the American Football League, died at an Arizona hospital.
Links: Guns, Football, South Dakota     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Jan 3
Ohio State beat Miami in the Fiesta Bowl 31-24 in double overtime to become the national college football champion.
Links: Ohio, Florida, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Jan 19
The Oakland Raiders won the AFC title game, beating the Tennessee Titans 41-24. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took the NFC Championship game, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10.
Links: Tennessee, Florida, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2003 Jan 26
Tampa Bay won their first NFL championship over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl 37. Rioting erupted on Oakland streets following the Raiders' Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bucs (48-21).
Links: California, Florida, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 May 4
In Glenbrook, Ill., senior girls of Glenbrook North High engaged in a "powder puff" football game with junior girls that turned into a hazing melee that was caught on video and shown on national TV. Several seniors were later suspended for 10 days. A Civil Suit was later filed on behalf of 3 of the juniors girls.
Links: USA, Illinois, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Jul 15
Tex Schramm (83), who turned the Dallas Cowboys into "America's Team," died in Dallas.
Links: USA, Football, Texas     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Aug 3
Hank Stram, Marcus Allen, James Lofton, Elvin Bethea and Joe DeLamielleure were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Links: USA, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Oct 1
Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh resigned from ESPN, three days after saying Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb is overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed.
Links: USA, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2003 Oct 25
Florida State's Bobby Bowden became the winningest coach in major college football history with his 339th victory as the Seminoles beat Wake Forest 48-24.
Links: Florida, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Nov 13
Dana Stubblefield, SF 49er defensive lineman, made false statements to an IRS agent just days before drug tests showed he had taken steroids. In 2008 he pleaded guilty to lying about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. He was the first football player prosecuted in the BALCO steroid scandal.
Links: USA, SF, Drugs, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Dec 6
Army became the first team to finish 0-13 in major college history after a 34-6 loss to Navy.
Links: USA, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2003 Dec 13
Oklahoma quarterback Jason White won the Heisman Trophy.
Links: Football, Oklahoma     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Jan 1
The University of Southern California defeated the University of Michigan, 28-14, in the Rose Bowl.
Links: California, Michigan, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2004 Jan 4
Louisiana State University won college football's Sugar Bowl, defeating Oklahoma 21-14.
Links: Louisiana, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Jan 18
The New England Patriots earned their second trip to the Super Bowl in three seasons by defeating the Indianapolis Colts 24-14 in the AFC championship game; the Carolina Panthers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 14-3, in the NFC championship game.
Links: Massachusetts, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Jan 28
Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch (80), a pro football Hall of Famer and later the athletic director at Wisconsin, died.
Links: Wisconsin, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Feb 1
In Texas a breast belonging to entertainer Janet Jackson escaped after singer Justin Timberlake ripped off one of her chest plates during the halftime Super Bowl performance in Houston. New England Patriots fans turned rowdy after their team's 32-29 win over the Carolina Panthers. CBS' parent company, Viacom, appealed a $550,000 fine.
Links: TV, Pop&Rock, Football, Texas     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Feb 5
A US federal judge ruled that high school football players may skip college and go straight to the pros.
Links: USA, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2004 Feb 12
Four men were charged in a 42-count indictment alleging they'd run a steroid-distribution ring that provided performance-enhancing drugs to dozens of athletes in the NFL, the major leagues and track and field.
Links: Baseball, Drugs, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Oct 24
Arizona's Emmitt Smith broke Walter Payton's NFL record for 100-yard games rushing with his 78th.
Links: Arizona, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Dec 11
Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart won the 70th Heisman Trophy.
Links: USA, California, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Dec 21
The Associated Press told the Bowl Championship Series to stop using its college football poll to determine which teams would play for the national title and in the most prestigious bowl games.
Links: USA, Football, Journalism     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Dec 21
The NFL fined Jacksonville safety Donovin Darius $75,000 for a hit across the neck of Green Bay's Robert Ferguson that left the wide receiver temporarily paralyzed.
Links: USA, Florida, Wisconsin, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2004 Dec 26
Reggie White (43), NFL defensive star, died in Huntersville, NC. White played 15 seasons with Philadelphia, Green Bay and Carolina. He retired after the 2000 season as the NFL's career sacks leader with 198. The mark has since been passed by Bruce Smith.
Links: Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Dec 26
Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts broke Dan Marino's single-season touchdown pass record when he threw his 48th and 49th of the season against San Diego. The Colts defeated San Diego in overtime, 34-31.
Links: USA, Football, Indiana     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Jan 3
The third-ranked Auburn Tigers limped to a 16-13 victory over No. 9 Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl.
Links: USA, Alabama, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Jan 4
In the Orange Bowl #1 Southern California overwhelmed #2 Oklahoma 55-19.
Links: USA, California, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Jan 23
The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Atlanta Falcons 27-10 to win the NFC championship game; the New England Patriots won the AFC championship by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers, 41-27.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2005 Feb 5
Steve Young and Dan Marino were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Links: USA, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Feb 6
The New England Patriots became a full-fledged dynasty with their third Super Bowl victory in four years, beating the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21.
Links: USA, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Feb 13
The AFC won the Pro Bowl, defeating the NFC 38-27.
Links: USA, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Jun 7
Terry Long, former Pittsburgh Steelers lineman, died in a hospital about five hours after he was found unresponsive in his suburban Pittsburgh home. An Oct 19 revised death certificate indicated that he had committed suicide by drinking antifreeze, and did not die as a direct result of football-related head injuries.
Links: USA, Suicide, Pennsylvania, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Jul 4
Hank Stram (82), Hall of Fame football coach, died in Covington, La.
Links: USA, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2005 Aug 5
Hunter Kelly (8), whose battle with a nervous system disease inspired a fundraising crusade by his father, Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, died in Orchard Park, N.Y.
Links: New York, Medical, Football, Kids     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Aug 20
Thomas Herrion (b.1981), San Francisco offensive lineman, collapsed in the locker room and died in Denver, shortly after the 49ers played the Denver Broncos in a preseason game. Herrion's was the NFL's first football-related death since Vikings tackle Korey Stringer died of heatstroke in 2001.
Links: USA, Colorado, SF, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Sep 5
Jerry Rice ended an NFL career that included three Super Bowls and records for most career receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
Links: USA, SF, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Dec 10
Southern California running back Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy.
Links: USA, California, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Dec 19
Southern California running back Reggie Bush was named The Associated Press Player of the Year.
Links: USA, California, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2005 Dec 26
"Monday Night Football" ended an unprecedented 36-year run on ABC TV with a lackluster game, a 31-to-21 New England Patriots victory over the New York Jets. The series switched to ESPN the following season.
Links: USA, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft met with Pres. Putin in St Petersburg after the Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl. Kraft reportedly showed his Superbowl ring to Putin and Putin put it on. "I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out." The White House under Pres. George W. Bush, told Kraft it would be better for relations with Moscow if he treated it as a gift.
Links: Russia, USA, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005
Dr. Bennet Omalu published his findings on a degenerative condition suffered by football players, which he named chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). In 2015 his story was made into the film “Concussion” starring Will Smith.
Links: USA, Medical, Football, Brain     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Jan 2
No. 4 Ohio State beat No. 5 Notre Dame 34-20 in the Fiesta Bowl.
Links: USA, Ohio, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Jan 4
The Univ. of Texas Longhorns scored a 41-38 win over Southern California in the Rose Bowl. Official tickets sold for $175 and resellers on the internet hawked them for as much as $3000.

Links: USA, California, Football, Texas     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2006 Jan 4
In a triple-overtime game that began Jan. 3 and finished after midnight, No. 3 Penn State beat No. 22 Florida State 26-23 in the Orange Bowl.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Jan 22
The Pittsburgh Steelers won the AFC title game over the Denver Broncos 34-17. The Seattle Seahawks claimed the NFC title over the Carolina Panthers 34-14.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Feb 5
In Detroit, Mich., the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl over the Seattle Seahawks 21-10.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Washington, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Mar 8
NFL owners agreed to the players' union proposal, extending the collective bargaining agreement for six years.
Links: USA, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Mar 20
Paul Tagliabue announced he would step down as NFL commissioner after 16 years.
Links: USA, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2006 May 16
Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden, the winningest coaches in Division I-A football, were elected to the college football Hall of Fame.
Links: USA, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Aug 5
The late Reggie White was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, John Madden, Rayfield Wright and Harry Carson.
Links: USA, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Aug 8
Roger Goodell was chosen as the NFL's next commissioner.
Links: USA, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Sep 10
Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts defeated Eli Manning and the New York Giants 26-21 in the first NFL game to feature two brothers starting at quarterback.
Links: USA, Football, Indiana     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Sep 25
The Louisiana Superdome, a symbol of misery during Hurricane Katrina, reopened for a New Orleans Saints game. The Saints defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 23-3.
Links: USA, Louisiana, Football     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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