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NFC East Rivals Square Off in NFL Return

Sep 5, 2012, 7:27 PM EDT

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The wait is over. Are you as excited as we are, even if it is a game between two teams you are hardwired to hate?

The NFL kicks off tonight at 8:30 in its traditional fashion, with the reigning Super Bowl champions playing host. Eight months after the New York Giants met the Dallas Cowboys to determine the last remaining playoff spot in the final game of the 2011 regular season, the rematch is set for the first game of 2012. And although there is less at stake this time around, at the end of the night, one of these two teams will be in first place in the NFC East.

Of course, not everything about tonight’s contest is in the tradition of the kickoff event. For starters, everybody knows Wednesday Night Football is an oddity in the NFL, but the game was moved up by one day to accommodate President Obama’s speech at the DNC. As for the action on the field, the league is still using its dreaded replacement officials as the lockout of the regular crews continues to drag on.

But rest assured, football will be football on any day of the week, even when robots take over the officiating duties — and football is back.