March 19, 2003

WARTIME DECISIONS: There's been lots

WARTIME DECISIONS: There's been lots of talk in the media in the last few days about various sports, entertainments, and sports entertainment events that are scheduled to take place in the next few weeks, and whether or not they will be affected by the onset of war in Iraq. Here, all in one place, is a roundup of said events, complete with odds of cancellation. Now keep in mind, these odds are for entertainment purposes only, and are subject to war only. Should, God forbid, a terrorist attack happen, then all "bets" are off.

Event: The NCAA Tournament
Scheduled Date and Place: Begins March 20, continuing for three weeks until Final Four weekend of April 5; various locations.
Circumstances: Sporting event at major venues throughout the country; NCAA executive director Myles Brand has already announced games will happen.
Odds of cancellation: 50-1. Won't be canceled, but games likely moved from CBS to ESPN or MTV. "One Shining Moment" airs as scheduled.

Event: 75th Annual Academy Awards
Scheduled Date and Place: March 23, Los Angeles.
Circumstances: While terrorists are unlikely to attack a roomful of anti-war activists, there is precedent for war affecting awards: Emmy Awards were postponed twice in 2001, the first time because the Afghanistan bombing campaign had begun that morning.
Odds of cancellation: 2-1. More likely postponed until after war.

Event: Wrestlemania XIX
Scheduled Date and Place: Seattle, March 30.
Circumstances: Major event scheduled to be held outdoors (at Safeco Field) for the first time in years; Wrestlemania immediately after Gulf War I (Hulk Hogan vs. pro-Iraqi Sgt. Slaughter) was not canceled but moved to a smaller, indoor arena.
Odds of cancellation: 100-1. Not even a terrorrist attack would be likely to derail this one, though perhaps Safeco's roof will be closed. Vince McMahon went ahead with a live WWE show the Thursday after 9/11, when baseball and football were still standing down, and even had his daughter Stephanie give a speech in which she compared their family's ordeal during Vince's 1994 federal steroid trial with that of 9/11 victims; Vinnie Mac's never been one for tact.

Event: The Masters
Scheduled Date and Place: Beginning April 10, in Augusta, GA.
Circumstances: This year's Masters had already been facing plenty of controversy, what with feminist protestors, anti-feminist counter-protestors, and even the Klan scheduled to converge; now Martha Burk is calling for the tournament to be called off if the war is still going on then.
Odds of cancellation: 10-1. If the Masters is derailed, it won't be because of any war.

Event: "24"
Scheduled Date and Place: Tuesdays, 9:00 on FOX.
Circumstances: Plotlines thus far this year have included plane hijackings, plots against the United States by middle eastern governments, and the detonation of a nuclear device within the continental U.S.
Odds of cancellation: 20-1. It's already been renewed for next year, but might FOX decide that the remaining 9 hours of the season are a bit too close to home for comfort?

Posted by Stephen Silver at March 19, 2003 02:58 AM
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