SBD/21/Sports Society

ROCKIES AND NUGGETS POSTPONE GAMES AFTER COLORADO TRAGEDY

          The Rockies and Nuggets both postponed their scheduled
     games last night after yesterday's tragedy at suburban
     Denver's Columbine High School.  Earlier in the day, the
     Nuggets were planning to go ahead with the game along with a
     moment of silence and a request for blood donors, but the
     decision changed after news surfaced of the severity of the
     events.  Nuggets GM Dan Issel: "When we heard the extent of
     the tragedy -- at that point, athletic contests hold little
     meaning after that."  Rockies C Jeff Reed, after Rockies
     Chair Jerry McMorris addressed the team and announced the
     cancellation: "It shocked me at first, but it shows that our
     ownership is not all about money.  They showed a lot of
     class.  Like he said, 'We're a community.'"  It is "believed
     that a major-league game had never previously been called
     off because of outside tragedy" (DENVER POST, 4/21).
     McMorris: "It's an emotional time, a highly charged time of
     mourning.  We reached out to everybody that we could reach
     out to make the decision, which, in our heart, was right. 
     Our players don't want to play.  Nobody in the organization
     wants to play" (CO Springs GAZETTE, 4/21).  Issel pledged
     financial assistance to the victims from the charitable arm
     of the Nuggets and Avalanche (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 4/21).
          AVALANCHE TO DECIDE TODAY: The Avalanche and the NHL
     will "wait until today" before making a decision whether to
     postpone Game 1 of its Stanley Cup Playoff series tonight
     against the Sharks (DENVER POST, 4/21). In Denver, Mike
     Littwin writes, "You have to hope that once the enormity of
     the situation is understood, the NHL will realize what must
     be done. ... The NHL must postpone because teams tell us
     every day how much they are part of our community.   Because
     postponement says that we are a community" (RMN, 4/21).
          REAX: In CO, Lynn Zinser: "With remarkable swiftness
     and clarity, two professional sports understood their place
     in the world.  It's a place that takes a back seat to real
     tragedy in a real world often rocked with real heartache. 
     Or at least it should" (CO Springs GAZETTE, 4/21).  FSN's
     Keith Olbermann said last night that the "teams and leagues
     deserve great credit for the signs of respect represented by
     the cancellations" ("FSN," 4/20).

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