Keeping Score

How Hurricane Sandy Is Impacting Sports

Travel plans disrupted; high school events rescheduled

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REUTERS/Darren Hauck

Green Bay Packers' Greg Jennings fails to catch a pass while playing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second half during their NFL football game in Green Bay, Wisconsin November 20, 2011. Jennings' surgery was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy

Compared to Hurricane Sandy’s devastating impact on the northeastern United States, it’s disruption of the sports world seems relatively meaningless, and negligible.

But it’s there. Are you a fan of the Green Bay Packers, for example? According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings was supposed to have sports hernia surgery this week in Philadelphia. But since Sandy has grounded all flights into Philly and other northeastern cities on Monday and Tuesday, the surgery will be delayed. After surgery, Jennings will need about three weeks to recover.

Jennings has missed the last four games; he’s a key part of Green Bay’s offensive attack. The longer the surgery is postponed thanks to Sandy, the later Jennings will come back. That delay, in theory at least, could cost Green Bay a game, which could alter the NFC playoff race. And if Jennings is on your fantasy team … you might have another reason to curse Sandy.

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Again, it almost seems silly to bring this stuff up when a hurricane is destroying lives. But Sandy’s influence on sports just speaks to the storm’s reach.¬†Sandy’s disturbance of sports is largely logistical. Before the storm even hit, Paul Tagliabue, the former commissioner of the NFL, postponed the New Orleans Saints’ appeals hearing in the bounty scandal. Current commish Roger Goodell, who handed down the original suspensions, recused himself from the appeals process, and tapped Tagliabue to handle it. So Bountygate will drag on a little longer thanks to Sandy. Hooray.

The NFL also pushed back its trading deadline, from Oct 30 to November 1. High school sports, from Massachusetts to Florida, were rescheduled or postponed. As, a high school sports website, reports:

* In New York, the Section 1 football semifinals have been postponed from Tuesday to Wednesday.

* In Connecticut, a ban on athletic events taking place on Sunday was lifted in order to get events moved up. The CIAC, the state’s governing board, moved up many of its events from this week to Sunday because the last date to complete the regular season is Thursday.

* All events scheduled today in Rhode Island have been postponed, according to the Rhode Island Interscholastic League.

* The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association plans to reschedule many of its region tournament games in several sports. Once the weather clears, “there are no days off if the tournament is behind schedule, except Sundays,” the office posted on its website.

* In Massachusetts, the Boston City League soccer and volleyball playoffs were postponed.

Some NBA teams had to revise their travel plans in advance of the season openers this week. The Miami Heat host the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night; Boston left for South Florida a day early, on Sunday, to beat the storm. But USA Today reports:

The one concern might be the Denver Nuggets’ trip for Wednesday’s game at the Philadelphia 76ers. The Nuggets have kept their original travel schedule and plan to fly out of Denver on Tuesday afternoon. The team has been in regular contact with it charter service.

Organizers of the New York City Marathon, which takes place this Sunday, November 4th, don’t expect any disruption to the race. But officials will need to assess the damage. One big event this week that the weather system won’t touch: the San Francisco Giants’ World Series victory parade, on Halloween. That should be a scene.

And a good 3,000 miles away from Sandy.

PHOTOS:  Hurricane Sandy Bears Down On East Coast