Government Shutdown Threatens Cancellation Of Air Force-Navy Game On Saturday
The government shutdown "could throw a number of unknowns into the equation" for the Air Force-Navy football matchup on Saturday, "putting even the game itself in jeopardy," according to Brent Briggeman of the Colorado Springs GAZETTE. Most of the Air Force's "behind-the-scenes support staff, classified as civil service employees, would not be eligible to travel." Air Force coach Troy Calhoun and most of his coaching staff "would be exempt, but there's gray area when it comes to the cadets themselves." Players were "stunned to hear that the game could be on the chopping block if a shutdown isn't averted." Many non-revenue sports "could lose their coaching staffs if certain employees are not allowed to work during a shutdown." Air Force AD Hans Mueh "could also be impacted, just as he was by furloughs during sequestration." The attitude among most who "could see fallout from the situation is to simply take a wait-and-see approach" (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 10/1). The Air Force-Navy game is sold out, and record attendance is expected at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised nationally by CBS (Navy).
SOLDIERS CAN'T WATCH SPORTS? STARS & STRIPES' Vandiver, Millhan & Slavin report potential civilian furloughs during a government shutdown "could slow down or shutter some functions, including reducing American Armed Forces Network television programming." A shutdown "means overseas troops could miss baseball playoff games and favorite NFL Sunday showdowns," as cutbacks "will force AFN to reduce its programming to just one channel: news." With no sports channel, some football games "would instead be carried live on 'The Voice,' the network’s news, talk and information radio station" (STARS & STRIPES, 10/1).