Mother Nature Strikes Again

By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard

It’s happened again. A weather event has affected the sporting world for the second time in 4 months. This time it was a snow storm in the northeast that dropped almost 25 inches of snow at Logan International Airport in Boston, MA.

TD Garden

What did it effect this time? The Boston Bruins first moved the start time of their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning then postponed it. The Duke University basketball team had to delay their travel from Durham, NC to Boston until Sunday morning for their match up against Boston College (which they won). The New York Knicks stayed an extra night in Minneapolis, MN before heading back home to play the LA Clippers (a game in which they lost). Finally the New England Revolution had to move around some travel so that they could make it to the much sunnier Tucson, AZ for some preseason matches.

It’s high time leagues, organizations, players, and fans come to the realization that this is going to be the norm and not the random. How coaches coach, how players pace themselves are going to be key if they are to compete on the road when travel plans are disrupted. This hiccup to the routine can cause some major issues mentally and physically. Just ask anyone who has had their flight delayed or luggage lost. It trumps everything else and not in the fun way. Teams would be wise to begin to study how last minute travel effects performance. It could mean the difference between a championship and a ‘oh, we almost had it!’

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The Real Work Done on Christmas

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Certain sports seem to earn certain days or holidays. Football during Thanksgiving weekend, College Football on New Years Day, and the NBA on Christmas Day.

Years ago, there would be only one or two NBA games on Christmas Day. Now there are five and they’re doing rather well. The Thunder at Heat game was the fourth highest rated NBA regular season game ever on ABC and was the highest rated regular season game ever in Oklahoma City and Miami. While these numbers are very good there are some other things to consider, like all of the people who work.

There were five NBA games on Christmas which means ten teams. That’s not just the players and coaches but the support staff, media, and arena personnel. From janitors to hot dog vendors to the IT department. The Staples Center had it tougher than most too this past Christmas. They had two games to work. First the Knicks vs the Lakers than the late game between the Nuggets and the Clippers. That’s a long day on a regular day much less a holiday.

While we expect certain people to be working on holidays such as doctors, policemen, and firemen we rarely think about those who are taking the tickets at the arena. Those cooking the food for the luxury boxes or those pulling cable for the cameraman as he tries to get just the right shot of Kobe Bryant walking to the bench after a big play.

The ratings show that sports on holiday’s work and as long as people are watching there will continue to be events on days such as Christmas. So while you enjoy the comfort of family and friends remember that it’s not just the teams that make sports happen.

BALL DON’T LIE

BALLDONTLIE

90 seconds. That’s how long it took for the New York Knicks Rasheed Wallace to be ejected from a game against the Phoenix Suns. 90 seconds.

He had just entered the game when he was called for a technical foul. When Suns player Goran Dragic missed a free throw Wallace shouted out, “BALL DON’T LIE!” The ref’s then delivered a second technical foul to Wallace which sent him to the showers before he could even break a sweat.

Whether you agree with the call or not. Whether you like Rasheed Wallace and his 317 career technical fouls or not, you have to be impressed with this scene. Wallace could be heard clearly in the arena and on TV which says something for his vocals and not a lot for the New York fans. It would be safe to say that fans at a PGA event make more noise than the Knicks fans. In the end the NBA, the Knicks and Wallace can feel good about one thing, creating Internet gold.

BALL DON’T LIE!

The Games Must Go On

Superstorm Sandy threw a serious body blow to the Northeastern United States and in particular to the New York metropolitan area. The word “distater” is not overstating this. People have lost their lives and the region will never be the same. All the more reason for sports to stand up and provide relief.

This is a time when people need something else to think about instead of “when is the power going to come back on?” or “how am I ever going to recover from this?” Sports can give these people a brief moment of grace. For a few hours they can recapture a moment of that “normal life” and cheer on their team.

The storm has effected the teams as well. From the New York Giants changing up their schedule to their opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers, coming into New Jersey the day of the game due to their host hotel in New Jersey not having power. The Giants players have had their own troubles with some moving into hotels and others rooming with each other.

These two teams were not the only ones effected. The Green Bay Packers star WR Greg Jennings was to have surgery in New York on Tuesday but had to postpone due to the storm. This postponement pushes his possible return to the field back a few more weeks.

The MLS Cup playoffs have swapped cities with the New York Red Bulls playing game one of their two game set in DC instead of their home ground of Harrison, New Jersey.

The NBA has postponed games including the home opener of the Brooklyn Nets in their new digs of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the New York Knicks.

The teams are not the only ones effected. Just about everyone has an office in the New York area. The NFL pushed back their trade deadline by 48 hours mainly because it was going to be too difficult for the league, who’s offices were closed Monday and Tuesday, to get the necessary paperwork done.

After all the cancellations, delays and postponements it’s time for sports to take center stage again. It’s time for sports to take the people’s mind’s off the distater, even if for only a few hours, and give them some relief. It’s for fans, players, and workers alike to find some sort of normalcy in the midsts of chaos.

Let the games continue.

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