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Heightened Security for NFL Games

February 1, 2002

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ The heightened security that at times has given Super Bowl week the look of a militarized zone fortress will remain in the future.

NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said Friday the presence of Secret Service and FBI, as well as the national guard and local police, has given him a ``very high degree of confidence″ in the security for Sunday’s game.

``Future enhanced security will be a part of our standard operating procedures during the season and postseason,″ Tagliabue said during his State of the NFL speech.

``We have had no credible threats against the game brought to my attention. It is my understanding _ and we have assurances _ that if there were such threat, they would be brought to our attention.″

National guardsmen and police have been stationed at interesections, outside high-profile areas such as the team and media hotels and the media center, and especially around the Superdome. Otherwise, Tagliabue hopes Sunday’s game will be business as usual. He believes that is essential.

``The most important thing we want to do is be true to our own values in football, which we believe are the values reflected and brought to bear more broadly in our society,″ he said.

Tagliabue also said he doesn’t expect any major overhaul of the instant replay system now in use to help officiating. Nor does he look for a reduction in the number of preseason games, which could lead to an addition to the regular-season schedule.

Six months after the death of Minnesota Vikings tackle Korey Stringer from heat stroke during training camp, the commissioner said the league is working closely with physicians and the Department of Defense about how to handle heat-related issues.

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