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NFL Deal Eases Worries for White Plains Bars

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Former National Football League guard Bob Hyland, the owner of Bob Hyland's Sports Page Pub was relieved to hear football season would be in full swing this fall after players and owners struck a deal Monday.

"It's definitely the number one attraction here," said Hyland, a White Plains native who played for the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, New York Giants and New England Patriots. "It would definitely have cut into our revenue. A lot of people have developed a habit of coming here for games on Sunday afternoon."

The Sports Page Pub, which will celebrate 30 years this December, hosts about 15 fantasy football teams during draft seasons. If a deal had not been struck, Hyland thought an emphasis on college leagues would have gotten some football fans out of the house.

Other White Plains bars, including Buffalo Wild Wings Grill , would have really struggled if the NFL season had been shortened or delayed. White Plains Franchise Manager Steven Oria said Buffalo Wild Wings usually hits its 235-person capacity during NFL games.

"I don't think big is the word to describe it. The NFL games are our bread and butter during the fall," said Oria, a Tuckahoe resident. "We had no worries about the deal going through. It was just a matter of when it was going to happen."

The longest work stoppage in NFL history ended Monday when players voted to approve a final deal that was approved by league owners last week, allowing teams to open their facilities to players as early as Tuesday with training camps opening Friday and Saturday.

The agreement came too late to save the annual Hall of Fame game between the Chicago Bears and the St. Louis Rams scheduled for August 7 in Canton, Ohio. All scheduled preseason and regular season games will be played. The NFL regular season begins on September.

The NFL preseason begins with a slate of games on August 11. The regular season opens with a matchup between New Orleans at Super Bowl champion Green Bay, Thursday September 8.

Baltimore Ravens running back and New Rochelle High graduate Ray Rice hosted “Ray Rice Day” in New Rochelle in late June and was hopeful then that the season would open on time.

“I’m always working out and I’ll be ready to go whenever things happen,” Rice said four weeks ago. “Players want to play.”

Minnesota Vikings lineman Jimmy Kennedy, who played for Roosevelt High School in Yonkers and at Penn State, was happy to have his extended summer vacation end.

“I’ve been working out and trying to stay under the radar,” Kennedy said.

The New York Giants will open training camp Friday at its practice facility near the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey and the New York Jets will open on Saturday at the training facility in Florham Park, New Jersey.

Are you a football fan? What was your reaction to the NFL deal? Where do you like to watch games in White Plains? Email thoughts to strangle@thedailywhiteplains.com and we'll include your responses in future coverage.

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