SBD/26/Sports Society

SNOW JOB: EAST COAST BLIZZARD WIPES OUT SLATE OF GAMES

          The snowstorm that dumped more than a foot of snow
     along the East Coast in cities such as Raleigh and DC "has
     wiped clean the slate of events taking place throughout the
     region," according to Wyche & El-Bashir of the WASHINGTON
     POST, who report that the postponements include last night's
     Knicks-Wizards game, more than 150 boys and girls high
     school basketball games in the DC area and tonight's Univ.
     of MD-Univ. of NC basketball game in Chapel Hill, NC.  The
     Knicks-Wizards game will be made up March 8, while the UM-
     UNC game will be played Thursday night (WASH. POST, 1/26). 
     In N.Y., Marc Berman writes that the Knicks had to do
     without the "comfy confines of their Cablevision corporate
     jet" and travel by train to DC for last night's game.  After
     the postponement, the Knicks' second in seven games, they
     "hopped" back on the train and returned to N.Y. (N.Y. POST,
     1/26).  In DC, Josh Barr notes that the UM basketball team
     "considered" flying to Raleigh this morning and playing the
     game tonight or flying into another airport in NC and busing
     to Chapel Hill, "but decided otherwise."  Meanwhile, the
     Clemson-NC State Univ. basketball game scheduled for tonight
     has also been postponed until Thursday (WASHINGTON POST,
     1/26).  NCSU AD Les Robinson, on trying to get the Clemson
     team to Raleigh: "We talked buses, commuter planes, but
     nobody could give us any kind of guarantees.  This is in the
     best interest of everybody involved" (N&O, 1/26).
          DOUBLE SWITCH: The UM-UNC postponement "means a double
     switch" for ESPN, which was scheduled to televise the game,
     as it will fill tonight's void with "The Matchup of the
     Millennium."  ESPN2 will show the Australian Open semifinal
     between Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi live at 3:00am ET
     Thursday instead of via tape delay (USA TODAY, 1/26).
          NATURAL DISASTER: The NHL was also affected by the
     storm, as last night's Coyotes-Hurricanes game was
     postponed, stranding the Coyotes in their hotel just a few
     miles from the Raleigh Entertainment & Sports Arena.  The
     postponement marks the first time since January '98 that an
     NHL game has been called off because of severe weather. 
     Coyotes coach Bob Francis: "It's tough.  We're trapped like
     rats" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 1/26).

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