Right after the devastating damage of Hurricane Harvey, news of Hurricane Irma began to dominate news networks. Hurricane Irma first hit Florida on September 10. In preparation for this massive storm, many football games in Florida were cancelled over the last two weeks.
The postponing of the NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Miami Dolphins was the most controversial decision. The announcement to postpone the game was made on September 5 when meteorologists predicted the danger of this hurricane.
“Due to the potential impact of Hurricane Irma on South Florida, the Miami Dolphins home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, originally scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at Hard Rock Stadium, will instead be played there in Week 11 on Sunday, November 19,” according to the Buccaneer’s official website.
Both teams have a bye week Week 11, which means that they have a week off at the same time. It seems like this situation worked out perfectly as no other games had to be moved. However, the players on these Florida teams are not looking forward to playing without a week off this year according to NFL.com.
A large concern was raised by the Dolphins about travelling this season with no bye week. They asked the league if their game against the New Orleans Saints on October 1 in London could be moved to Miami as the constant travelling will be difficult, but their request was denied.
In addition to the Dolphins and Buccaneers game being rescheduled, other football games have been postponed or cancelled as well. Florida State’s home game against the University of Miami was postponed to October 7. In addition, the University of Miami’s game against Arkansas State, and the University of Florida’s game against Northern Colorado were cancelled.
Two baseball series have also been rescheduled due to the storm. On September 11, the Tampa Bay Rays were supposed to start their series against the New York Yankees in Tampa Bay, but it was moved to the New York Mets’ Citi Field instead. The Miami Marlins were supposed to play the Milwaukee Brewers in Miami this past weekend, but the series was moved to Milwaukee.
Both the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buccaneers hosted 1 p.m. football games on Sunday, September 17 as scheduled, despite the aftermath of the storm. The Buccaneers’ chief operating officer, Brian Ford, made a statement to ESPN about how important it is to bring everyone together at the Buccaneers’ game after Hurricane Irma.
“Hosting the game is important to us, as Tampa Bay has been through a lot over the past few days…We look forward to providing our fans and the entire region an opportunity to come together this Sunday to kick off our 2017 season,” Ford said.