Apparently Mother Nature isn’t much of a football fan.
On Wednesday, the NFL announced that Sunday’s Week 1 game between the Buccaneers and Dolphins would be re-scheduled to a common bye week on November 19th in response to Hurricane Irma’s looming march across the Atlantic. A massive Category 4 storm twice the size of the Florida peninsula (yikes), Irma is just the latest in a long line of storms to flex its wind-powered muscle on the NFL.
This time, it’s the Bucs and Phins who will each be forced to play 16 straight games, no breaks. As two slightly above average teams, let’s just say Irma isn’t dashing anyone’s Super Bowl hopes. But in true “THIS IS OUR YEAR” fashion (gotta be optimistic, right?), let’s take a look back at the moments when storm and sport collided:
1992: Hurricane Andrew
The most destructive hurricane to ever hit Florida, Andrew forced the Dolphins and Patriots to re-schedule their opening week tilt from September 6th to October 18th. Facing a bye-less season, the Dolphins opened their 27th year by rattling off 6 straight wins en route to a division title and an AFC Championship berth. The Patriots sputtered to a 2-14 finish–including a 21-point loss to their Miami rivals in the re-scheduled game.
2005: Hurricane Katrina
With 80% of New Orleans underwater, the Saints moved their Week 2 home opener against the New York Giants from the Superdome to the Meadowlands. Over the next 16 weeks, the Saints split their home games between San Antonio’s Alamodome and LSU’s Tiger Stadium, ending with a 3-13 record and two separate 5-game losing streaks. As if that city needed any more L’s.
2008: Hurricane Ike
The NFL’s 89th season saw 3 teams impacted by the elements. Week 2’s Texans-Ravens bout was moved ahead 8 weeks, which also forced Houston’s Week 10 game versus the Cincinnati Bengals to be moved up 2 weeks. An eventual loss in that game dropped the Bengals to 0-8 en route to a 4-11-1 record. Houston limped to an 8-8 finish, while Baltimore lost in the AFC Championship to Pittsburgh, the eventual Super Bowl champions.
Stay safe, South Florida!