The NHL has announced the 2019-20 season would be put on hold for the foreseeable future amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. When, or even if, the season will be resumed is anyone’s guess, which raises the possibility there will not be a 2020 Stanley Cup champion. It’s too early to tell what will happen, but while having no winner would be quite a turn of events, it would not be the first time Lord Stanley’s Cup wasn’t awarded.Here’s a look at the other years the season did not end with a Cup champion.CORONAVIRUS UPDATES: Every sporting event canceled so far as COVID-19 spreads in United States, CanadaHow many years has the Stanley Cup been awarded?The Stanley Cup was first handed out in 1893 to the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association as part of the Challenger Cup. Beginning in 1915, it was awarded to the winner of a series that pitted the National Hockey Association against the Pacific Coast Hockey Association.It officially became the NHL’s trophy in 1926.Now, you may be thinking, 1893 to 2019, that’s 126 champions — but that’s not the case, it’s only 124.When was the last time there was no Stanley Cup champion?In 2004-05, the NHL was in the midst of a lockout, the Stanley Cup Final was not played and, therefore, the Cup wasn’t awarded. The previous year, the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup in a seven-game series against the Calgary Flames; the following year, it was the Carolina Hurricanes over the Edmonton Oilers in another series that went the distance.The 2005 postseason is not the only one where there wasn’t a Stanley Cup champion. CORONAVIRUS: NBA | MLB | NCAAWhat was the first year the Stanley Cup was not handed out?Back in 1919, when the world was also dealing with pandemic — this time The Spanish Flu — the championship series between the Seattle Metropolitans and Montreal Canadiens was halted with the series being tied. Members of the Canadiens had contracted the virus and defenseman Joe Hall died a few days later.MORE: Inside the 1919 Stanley Cup Final
The NFL is walking a fine line between competitive balance and watering down the accomplishments of teams such as the Packers (13-3) and Chiefs (12-4), who as strong No. 2 seeds under the proposed format would have been forced to play the Rams and Steelers, with home field being the only advantage shown for their far superior efforts.Adding playoff teams always cheapens the regular season to some degree. College Football Playoff enthusiasts would agree. In the FBS, however, a miniscule 3 percent of the teams make the playoffs, and expanding to eight teams would put it at only 6 percent. The NFL getting close to half the field making it is on the brink of saturation when multiple-game series aren’t involved in each round.Note that in the one-and-done NCAA Tournament, 68 teams do have a chance. But that’s still only 19.6 percent of Division I teams. The NFL is pushing past double that number.Pro: More teams involved in the playoff race through Week 17With that said, we know what an extra wild-card team in each league has meant for MLB, generating a new kind of excitement in September. The NFL equivalent of that is the one-month playoff push in December, the time when NFL fans are obsessed with the playoff picture and its many permutations.Had the Steelers made the playoffs last year at 8-8, the Jets, Colts, Broncos and Raiders, who all finished 7-9, would have approached the final month differently knowing they had real postseason chances. The Rams, Cowboys and Bears would have been joined by the Falcons and Buccaneers in a more competitive final surge.So although there would be only 14 playoff teams in the new format, roughly 20 teams would remain in viable playoff contention through the final few weeks.Con: More mediocre teams making the playoffsYou know how it is in the NHL and NBA. Some average teams make the field only to quickly become as irrelevant as they were in the regular season. Did we really need to see the Chiefs play the offensively challenged Steelers, too, on their way to winning Super Bowl 54? Also, given how Pittsburgh limped down the stretch, did it even deserve the opportunity?The danger here, unlike in the NHL and NBA, is that anything can happen in one game, while over the course of a best-of-seven series, anomalous upsets are less likely. So whether the Chiefs had either blown out or lost to the Steelers, it would have felt weird that they even had a chance to share the same playoff field. MORE: The NFL’s expanded playoffs, explainedThe NFL has had the dozen playoff teams since the 1990 season, when it increased the field from 10 teams to 12 with three division winners and three wild-card teams in each conference. In 2002, when the league expanded to 32 teams, it adjusted to four division winners and two wild-card teams.Why is the NFL doing this, and what are the pros and cons of the new format? Let’s break them all down.Pro: Two more games and a more action-packed wild card weekendThe current 12-team playoff format features two teams on a bye in each conference, creating consecutive opening playoff double-headers on the first Saturday and Sunday after the regular season.With 12 teams (six division winners, six wild-card teams) playing in the first round, the NFL can now give us back-to-back postseason triple-headers that resemble the usual progression of early afternoon, late afternoon and night games in the regular season.Divisional playoff weekend is arguably the best NFL weekend now. Wild-card weekend would rule the roost in the new format.Con: Two more games and a less relevant regular season With the NFL having 12 of its 32 teams make the playoffs, that meant only 37.5 percent playing beyond the regular season. By increasing the playoff field to 14, the number jumps to 43.8 percent. That’s probably the ceiling, given 16 of 32 (50 percent) puts the league too close to the NHL (51.6 percent) and NBA (53.3) percent, or using the season to eliminate only half the teams.Take last season for example. The Rams (9-7) would have been the last team in from the NFC, while the Steelers (8-8) would have been the last team in from the AFC. The Bears (8-8) and Cowboys (8-8) were the only other teams in the NFL at .500 or better. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/d6/43/patrick-mahomes-020520-getty-ftrjpg_1we5tomht32wx1dehscnmr1pg0.jpg?t=370735800&w=500&quality=80 In the NFC, the 49ers’ big win over the Seahawks in Week 17 earned them No. 1 vs. No. 5. That was a monstrous development that fueled their run, while the Seahawks were dusted in the divisional playoffs. The top seed in the new format would become more of a golden ticket, with No. 2 dropping all the way down to general admission.Con: Less incentive to fight for any other seedNFL teams that have poor chances to post a conference-best record won’t be as motivated to change their seeding. Being a No. 2 is not much different from being a No. 4 anymore. The same thing goes for No. 5 through No. 7, as they all will be playing road games in the first round regardless.There’s a chance for the competitive fire to be doused before the playoffs ahead of it being reignited. So there might be bit of a sacrifice on some level for the teams not fighting to get into the tournament late, but the NFL likely will be fine trading that for greater drama once the tournament begins and the stakes are raised. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/a5/1/mike-tomlin-120919-getty-ftrjpg_tacz1lwln3gm1oyn8k9axcv8r.jpg?t=-346634474&w=500&quality=80 Pro: More potential for teams overcoming stronger schedulesNot all 16-game slates are created equal. Some teams have distinct advantages based on the rotation of divisions they play outside their own, as well as the teams that finished in the same place as them the previous season.Having an extra playoff wild card provides a little leeway for a team navigating through a higher degree of difficulty.Con: More potential for teams taking advantage of weaker schedulesThe flip side is that extra playoff team in each conference adds one more layer to to the built-in parity parameters of the schedule.Consider that with only one bye seed in each conference, more surefire playoff teams will be less motivated to play their regulars in the final weeks. That will open the door to a few more non-competitive games that also inflate the wild-card resumes of potential No. 7 seeds.MORE: The best way to fix NFL’s playoff formatPro: More incentive to fight for the No. 1 seedsSpeaking of which, the No. 1 seed will carry a new level of significance. Think of how the Chiefs reacted when they were able to steal that No. 2 seed and first-round bye from the Patriots in Week 17. That was huge for their Super Bowl 54 run, as they got a much-needed extra week of rest and ended up playing consecutive home games with the Ravens being upset in the divisional playoffs.The single bye format forces a team to play with less margin for error, knowing only one strong playoff team in each conference can have the ultimate advantage of both home field and a bye. The NFL hasn’t changed its number of playoff teams in 30 years. With the new collective bargaining agreement in place, the 2020 season is set to usher in a brand-new era of the league postseason.A vote of NFL owners is set to expand the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams. There would still be four division winners, but an extra wild-card team would be added in both the NFC and AFC. Only two teams, the top seeds in both conferences, would enjoy first-round byes.
My dogs and I testing out these new 2020 uniforms 👌🏾#patsnationA post shared by James White (@sweetfeet) on Apr 20, 2020 at 9:08am PDTPaul Lukas at Uni Watch was able to confirm the pants White are wearing are the correct version, and the ones released in the promotional photos were incorrect. And the Patriots’ photo gallery has now removed any direct photo of the stripe on the pants. A fairly minor difference, sure, but it is interesting that New England failed to put on the wrong pants in its official unveiling. View this post on Instagram (Patriots / Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/ca/fb/patriots-pants-ftr_1200z4ptolq2m1cfrdoqbimtcp.png?t=-1661595151&w=500&quality=80 The pant features a thick white stripe bordered by a red outline.But then something interesting happened. Patriots running back James White shared a photo of himself wearing the new uniform, and there was a clear difference in the pants. White’s pants featured a much thinner white stripe, and a thicker red stripe than what New England released in its promotional photos. The Patriots revealed their new uniforms on Monday, which were practically identical to the Color Rush uniforms the team had been using.”What was previously known as the Patriots alternate uniform has been promoted to the team’s home primary, and an entirely new version has been unveiled for away games,” a Patriots.com story explains. “The blue-on-blue home uniforms made their debut in 2016 under the NFL’s Color Rush campaign, and while the league discontinued Color Rush before the 2018 season, the uniforms lived on as the team’s alternate uniform through 2019.” MORE: Ranking Nike’s redesigns for NFL uniforms The statement also reads, “The blue pants will remain the same for both uniforms.” This was true in the team’s release of the uniforms. In photos released through Instagram, we can tell the pant legs look the same as the pants worn by players this past season.MORE: NFL uniform rankings heading into 2020
You were one of 15.7 million Americans peering into the man caves, home offices, family rooms — and, in the case of Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones, the cruise ship he calls a yacht — to watch the first-ever “virtual” NFL Draft on either ABC, ESPN or NFL Network.MORE: NFL Draft grades, analysis for Round 1That is a HUGE number. That’s a bit more than ABC averaged last June for its telecast of the NBA Finals. It’s just short of what last year’s Women’s World Cup final and Kentucky Derby drew as a broadcast audience.It’s especially impressive when one considers that the only sports action included in the telecast consisted of highlight tapes of the players selected, from games that were decided long ago. It also was not a draft with an enormous amount of suspense. Many of the players chosen in the first round were offensive tackles. It has been known for months that the Bengals would select Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick.That’s a 37 percent bigger audience, though, than the draft drew a year, when the average was 11.1 million. It shows there is a huge hunger for NFL programming generally, but in particular it underscores how hungry fans are for real live sports.MORE: TV coverage, schedule for Round IIThere has not been a game of consequence contested in the U.S. since the St. John’s-Creighton game in March 12 in the Big East Tournament was abandoned at halftime. The NCAA canceled its men’s and women’s basketball championships that day; the NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS and the NWSL all have suspended or delayed their seasons. What were you doing Thursday night?Oh, forget it, I already know. There are no current plans to relaunch any of those leagues, although provisional concepts for resuming competition have been contemplated by each of them.Germany’s Bundesliga currently is planning to resume its season May 9. Spain’s La Liga is shooting for a June return. The PGA Tour is planning to stage the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial from June 11 to 14, as long as it is OK’d by government officials. NASCAR might be able to race by mid-May.Whenever live sports are back on our televisions, it’s clear there will be a vast, hungry audience awaiting.
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AMES — Iowa State sophomore Tyrese Haliburton expects to have more of a leadership role as the Cyclones prepare for next month’s trip to Italy. Haliburton started 34 games this past season and is part of an ISU team that will count on several newcomers.Haliburton gained international experience earlier this summer when he was part of the USA squad that won the Under 19 World Cup Tournament.Iowa State will play three games in Italy between August 10th and the 20th. EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — No pair of teammates in 2018 totaled more than the 215 catches amassed by Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. With Thielen and Diggs, the Minnesota Vikings were one of only four teams with two members of the 1,000-yard club last year. The necessity of a third receiver in this passing-oriented NFL, however, was evident during a second-half fade by the offense. Whether Chad Beebe, Jordan Taylor, Laquon Treadwell, Brandon Zylstra or one of the rookies, the Vikings need someone else to emerge. == 3A Quarterfinals – Tuesday, July 3011:00 — #1 Xavier of Cedar Rapids (38-2) vs. ADM (13-17)1:30 — #4 Marion (32-5) vs. Bishop Heelan of Sioux City (29-10)4:30 — #3 Central DeWitt (36-3) vs. #9 Centerville (24-6)7:00 — #2 Assumption of Davenport (31-4) vs. Boone (20-12) — State baseball== 2A Quarterfinals – Monday, July 29#2 North Linn 8, West Branch 1Des Moines Christian 9, Central Lee 7West Sioux 7, #7 New Hampton 2#5 Van Meter 17, Underwood 7 (6 innings)
AMES — The nonprofit group Speech First has filed a lawsuit against Iowa State University saying three policies instituted on campus have had a chilling impact on free speech.The president of the group, Nicole Neily says one policy prevents students from writing chalk messages on campus. “It seems it started with a pro-life group chalking pro-life messages and then a pro-choice group chalked their messages. And then everybody kind of got involved and there were a lots of political things going on,” Neily says. “And then at some point some offensive messages were chalked and the school put in place an interim ban — and then the student government voted on it and made it a permanent ban.”Neily says the ban prevents communication at a key time when presidential candidates are visiting campus. “A lot of the students I talked to had learned about these events and either attended or organized counter events as a result of this chalking,” she says. “And so I think student’s political and civic participation is really impacted by this in particular.”Neily says the school also banned sending emails in support of candidates. And she says they created a Campus Climate Reporting System to take reports of things students found offensive. “Turns out that often the speech that ends up being reported is political speech and it is religious speech. And the school has a portal where you can do this anonymously,” she says.Neily says the process used to react to the reports raised concerns with students. “The school will collect that information. The team that analyzes it is made up of university administrators, including university police — and then depending on what the report is — they’ll reach out to the reporter and they’ll reach out the person who has been reported on. And if needed — they’ll refer it elsewhere for further investigation,” Neily explains.She says this process has a chilling impact on the students’ rights to free speech. “I think of it as kind of a Orwellian reporting system,” Neily explains.”Students are making what I think is a very logical decision to just avoid the hassle of going through an investigation altogether. And just avoiding having controversial discussions — because they fear the punishment by process.”Neily says these three things go directly against the idea of what should happen on a campus. “You know, college campuses are the place where ideas should be vigorously debated. But unfortunately it seems like the window of acceptable discourse is narrow these days that students who express viewpoints outside of that orthodoxy, they face administrative proceedings,” Neily says. “Iowa State is a public university, it is a state actor, they have to uphold the First Amendment, period.”Neily says Speech First has asked the court to declare that the chalking ban, email prohibition on political speech, and Campus Climate Response System are all unconstitutional, and to enjoin both the chalking ban and prohibition on electronic correspondence in support of candidates and ballot initiatives in advance of the February 3rd Iowa Caucuses.An ISU spokesman says they are reviewing the lawsuit and had no comment
MASON CITY — The City of Mason City has announced they will not be making preparations for opening the city’s aquatic center for the time being.Mayor Bill Schickel says due to the many challenges and uncertainties presented by COVID-19 and its impacts on summer aquatic programs in the community, the Park Board during their meeting Tuesday night decided to delay the opening of the center due to the level of public congregation that takes place at aquatic facilities and the demand for properly trained and certified staff required to operate the facility. “The park board met Tuesday night and made a decision to postpone indefinitely the opening of the pool. There’s a lot of logistics to opening up the pool.”Schickel says though if the current public health emergency conditions impacting the safety of pool operations dramatically change, the city could decide to open the facility at a later date this summer. “The Park Board and our staff will keep the option open should things change dramatically, there’s a slight chance that the pool might be able to open.”Governor Reynolds’ executive order on Wednesday kept all public swimming pools across the state closed.
JOHNSTON — Governor Reynolds yesterday announced that Test Iowa screenings would be open to anyone who wants a test. During her press conference this morning she said many people took advantage of submitting an assessment.She says, “As of 8:00 AM this morning, nearly 1700 appointments were scheduled at sites across the state. For Iowans returning to work and restaurants and retail stores or other establishments that serve the public, this is a resource that you can use at any time to ensure your health and well being.”Reynolds says there’s no restrictions now for people who feel they may need to be tested. “For health care workers, first responders and law enforcement that are at high risk of exposure at work, having the ability to be tested frequently is important. For anyone who is symptomatic or thinks they may have been exposed, getting tested as soon as possible is critical, whether it’s a Test Iowa site or through your own doctor.”Reynolds says increasing the number of Iowans tested is one of the best things that can be done for the overall health of the state. “If you’re interested in being tested, the first step is to complete an assessment on TestIowa.com. Even if you’ve already taken an assessment, you’ll need to take it again, or be sure and take it when you get the reminder if you’ve taken one before. Your health changes from day to day, and the information you provide tells us about your condition, and it might also identify other information that’s important for public health and may identify new trends that will help us continue to better understand the virus.”Reynolds announced that new Test Iowa testing sites will open next week in Burlington, Council Bluffs, Marshalltown and Sioux Center.