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SBD/November 13, 2012/Events and Attractions
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Published November 13, 2012
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ALL IN FAVOR: ESPN.com’s Andy Katz wrote the UConn-Michigan State men’s basketball game at Ramstein Air Base in Germany last Friday “was a huge success.” The “USO-style tour is now in Year 1 of 5 (the plan is for ESPN and the Department of Defense to coordinate games at sites related to the four other branches -- Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy), and it works.” The two games on the aircraft carriers that were canceled Friday “were poorly timed.” The games “should never have been played on the East Coast and at night.” Playing on a base “ensures the game won't be interrupted by weather and guarantees a unique environment.” Katz: “You can squawk that the games on ships are gimmicks. And maybe there were too many of them, considering two were canceled (with one shut down at halftime). But the military was genuinely overwhelmed that there was this much interest and commitment from two programs to fly to Europe” (ESPN.com, 11/12).
ALL OPPOSED: SPORTS ON EARTH’s Mike Tanier wrote, “Next Veterans Day, we should honor America’s military personnel by not trying to play basketball on aircraft carriers.” Aircraft carrier games on paper “combine the best elements of Army-Navy football and the NHL’s Winter Classic: quality sporting events in a unique venue with a healthy dose of patriotic pageantry.” But these events on deck “challenge the principles of meteorology and thermodynamics -- and they lose badly.” Tanier: “Bad luck aside, a canceled Veterans Day tribute is worse than no tribute. The cancelations gave the impression of unpreparedness. The U.S. Navy, in an effort to accommodate the NCAA, television networks and sponsors, looked incapable of coping with dew. It was exactly the wrong message” (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 11/12).