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2000 NFL Season
81st season in the history of the National Football League
Week 1 of the season reverted to Labor Day weekend in 2000. It would be the last NFL season to date to start on Labor Day weekend. It would also be the last time until 2015 that CBS televised the late afternoon games in Week 1, because both Week 1 of the NFL season and CBS's coverage of the U.S. Open tennis finals would take place on the same day beginning next season.
In order to cut down on group celebrations, unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and fines will be assessed for celebrations by two or more players.
Anyone wearing an eligible number (1 to 49 or 80 to 89) can play quarterback without having to first report to the referee before a play.
This rule change resulted in the increase of trick plays teams can employ on offense.
The "Bert Emanuel" rule was implemented, stating that when making a catch and falling to the ground, the ball is allowed to touch the ground and still be considered a catch if the player maintains clear control of the ball.
Tom Fears: The first Mexico-born NFL player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Fears won an NFL championship as a player with the Los Angeles Rams, and a pair of NFL championships as a member of the Green Bay Packers coaching staff. During the 1950 NFL season, Fears recorded 84 receptions, an NFL record (since broken). A November 12, 1950 contest versus the Green Bay Packers saw Fears record 18 receptions.
Tom Landry: The first head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, leading the franchise to five Super Bowl appearances in the 1970s died February 12. As a tribute, the Cowboys wore a patch of Landry's hat on their jerseys. Landry was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.
Derrick Thomas: Taken in the 1989 NFL Draft, Thomas, a Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, died on February 8 as a result of injuries suffered in a January 23 automobile accident.
New York Jets - Al Groh; replaced Bill Belichick who replaced Bill Parcells who retired to become the full-time General Manager after the 1999 season. Belichick was hired by the New England Patriots shortly after he resigned from the Jets.
The New England Patriots introduced new uniforms, changing their primary color from royal to nautical blue. The new white jerseys were worn with blue block numbers and blue pants.
The New Orleans Saints updated their fleur-de-lis helmet logo to be a bit smaller but with a wider white and black outline. Also introduced was an alternative old gold logo. They also returned to wearing old gold pants with their white jerseys.
The New York Giants unveiled new uniforms. The blue jerseys were a modernized version of the team's design used in the 1950s. The white jerseys still retained elements of the 1980s design (such as the 1980s' blue collars and nameplates, and missing the 1950s' red sleeve stripes) but with red numbers like the 1950s version. Gray pants were worn with both the blue and white jerseys. The helmet also returned to featuring the lowercase "ny" logo.
The St. Louis Rams introduced new uniforms, darkening the shades of blue and gold to "New Century Blue" and "Millennium Gold". Among other modifications, the curling rams horns on the sleeves were replaced by a new logo featuring charging ram's head.