Storm already having effect on sports world

Storm already having effect on sports world

MIAMI (AP) The megastorm expected to create massive problems along the Eastern Seaboard over the coming days is already affecting sports.

Weather concerns prompted former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to postpone a scheduled Tuesday appeals hearing that he was to oversee in the New Orleans Saints' bounty-related case, with no new date immediately announced.

And the Boston Celtics will make their first road trip of the NBA season a day earlier than planned, choosing to fly into Miami on Sunday instead of Monday in an effort to beat the storm.

High school events along the East coast - from Florida to North Carolina, New Jersey to Massachusetts - also have been either rescheduled or postponed because of the storm, which was blamed for more than 40 deaths in the Caribbean before it began churning north. In Florida, several college soccer matches in recent days were affected, as were some elements of the Miami Heat weeklong celebration that ends with Tuesday's start of the NBA season.

Even gambling will feel a hit: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered that Atlantic City's 12 casinos be evacuated Sunday afternoon.

``We have to be prepared for the worst,'' Christie said.

Tagliabue is expected to announce a new date for the Saints' hearing in the coming days. Meanwhile, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is monitoring the storm's path, but did not anticipate a need for any changes to this weekend's schedule.

Philadelphia is also expected to get hit by the storm, though the 76ers do not expect their Wednesday opener at home against Denver to be adversely affected.

``I am told that even with a very bad storm, the game will go on schedule,'' Adam Aron, the 76ers' CEO, wrote in response to a question he received on Twitter.

Forecasters expect the worst of the storm to affect a huge swath of the East on Monday and Tuesday. Up to 2 feet of snow is predicted for West Virginia, a flood watch was in effect for New York, and experts said power outages could be possible from Virginia to Maine.

So instead of flying into the mess, the Celtics are seeking better weather before the worst of the storm hits.

They'll fly to Miami on Sunday evening, then practice at AmericanAirlines Arena on Monday - the last workout before their meeting with the champion Heat on Tuesday night, in a rematch of last season's epic Eastern Conference finals. The Celtics' original travel plan called for a Monday arrival in Miami.

The first game of the NBA regular season might also be affected. Washington and Cleveland tip the season off at 7 p.m. on Tuesday - about an hour before Boston-Miami will get going - and the Wizards also were keeping a close eye on the storm's path. As of Saturday afternoon, the Wizards had no plans to alter their travel schedule.

USA Luge also decided to postpone a planned fundraiser in New York, which was scheduled for Monday night. Federation officials, who were planning to travel from their base in Lake Placid, N.Y., for the event, said they were heeding ``the recommendations of state and emergency officials'' and will push the fundraiser back until sometime in mid-December.

``Hurricane Sandy has dictated that we stay home,'' USA Luge spokesman Sandy Caligiore said.

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Pernell McPhee reportedly on visit with Redskins


Pernell McPhee reportedly on visit with Redskins

NFL free agency doesn't care about your brackets. 

While you were watching UMBC, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee is currently on a visit with the Redskins:

Pernell, 29, was drafted in 2011 out of Mississppi State by the Baltimore Ravens. He played there for three years before spending the last two seasons with the Chicago Bears. 

Pernell has 182 career tackles and 31 career sacks. 


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3 stars of the game: A lethargic loss in Philadelphia


3 stars of the game: A lethargic loss in Philadelphia

Playing three games in four days takes a toll on even the fittest athletes, and it was their sluggish start that doomed the Capitals in a 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. 

After being noncomittal about his starting goalie all weekend, Coach Barry Trotz put Philipp Grubauer in net. Grubauer ended up making 29 saves on 34 shots. Offensively, the Caps got goals from Alex Ovechkin, Chandler Stephenson, and John Carlson. Carlson's third period goal cut the Flyers' lead to two with a little over three minutes to go, but a Jakub Voracek empty-netter a few moments later was the nail in the coffin. 

Here are your three stars from the game: 

1. Travis Boyd had the play of the game for the Capitals. Boyd carried the puck into the Flyer's zone, cut through multiple defenders and fired a slick shot to a streaking Ovechkin, who burried the puck in the back of the net. Check it out: 

Not only was the play nice on its own, but it was Boyd's first NHL point. Not a bad way to get it. 

2. Shayne Gostisbehere​ got the Flyers going with his goal in the first period. The defenseman had one goal on five shots along with being an intimidating force in the defensive zone. After going six weeks without scoring, today's goal was Gostisbehere's second goal in three games. 

3. Wayne Simmonds was the best offensive player on the ice on Sunday, scoring twice - both in the final period. It was the 22nd and 23rd goals of the season for the 29-year-old winger. It was also the first multi-goal game for Simmonds since Opening Night, when he had two against San Jose. 

The Caps hit the ice next on Tuesday, when they welcome the Dallas Stars to the Capital One Center.