From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

kickoff \kickoff\ n. (Football)
   1. A kick from the center of the field to start a football
      game or to resume it after a score.
      [WordNet 1.5]

   2. the time at which an event or activity begins.

   Syn: beginning, commencement, first, outset, start, starting
        time, offset.
        [WordNet 1.5]
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