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Houston Sports, Hurricane Ike Update

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Okay, as of this writing, here is what we know about the status of various college and professional sporting events that are scheduled to be played in Houston and Texas this weekend.

The Houston Cougars have moved their game against Air Force from U.H.’s Robertson Stadium to SMU’s stadium in Dallas. The game will still kickoff at 2:30, and it will still be televised on CBS College.

The University of Texas has postponed its game with Arkansas scheduled for Saturday afternoon in Austin. The game will instead be played on September 27th, which is an open date for both team – the Cougars can’t use this option because they don’t have an off day in common with Air Force. TCU will still play Stanford on Saturday, but the time of the game has been changed to noon. Baylor is scheduled to host Stanford in Waco, but no decisions have yet been made about this game.

Drayton McLane is still awaiting more facts on the track of Ike before making any decisions, but he’s letting Pam Gardner – the person responsible for the A/C problems inside Minute Maid Park earlier this year – make the necessary decisions, and she’s consulting with various Houston and Harris County personnel. The current thinking on the matter is that the Chicago Cubs will fly into Houston, and that Friday night’s game will instead be played at 1:05 on Friday. The Astros, Cubs, and umpires, and all MMP personnel will then ride the storm out in varying degrees of safety, then attempt to play the rest of the series on Saturday, Sunday, and/or Monday. But a decision will be made sometime today.

(Personally, if this thing keeps coming this way, MLB should just move this series to a neutral site. They did this in 2004 to the Florida Marlins, who were forced to play a series against the Montreal Expos in Chicago because of a hurricane, and last year, the Cleveland Indians were forced to play a series in Milwaukee against the Angels because of snow in Cleveland.)

Bob McNair, meanwhile, says the Texans and the NFL are waiting for someone to tell them where Ike is going to hit before making a decision on where to play the game. "The league is working on a plan,” McNair told the Chron. “When you tell us where it's going to hit and when it's going to hit, we can tell you the plan. We'll play here unless we're forced to play somewhere else.”

So let me see if I’ve got this: the Texans are going to wait until someone can tell them where Ike’s going, which will probably be when Ike makes landfall. Then Bob and the NFL are going to discuss where to play the game. Meanwhile, the Ravens will probably have to go ahead and fly to Houston, then ride out the hurricane, and will then probably be faced with a trip to another site because Bob McNair is a cheap bastard who doesn’t want to lose out on the gate. It should also be noted that, by taking this course of action, McNair is endangering everybody who works for CBS, who will have to come here beforehand, as well as the officials. Plus, I’m sure that any of the many underpaid stadium staff who work at Reliant who choose to evacuate if need be, then can’t make it back for the game, will be fired.

What a guy.

Meanwhile, keep checking this site out during the day as we’ll attempt to let you know the latest on game times and game locations. – John Royal

UPDATE: The football game between Prairie View and Sam Houston State, scheduled for Saturday in Huntsville, has been postponed. They are hoping to play the game on Sunday morning, but all involved are awaiting Southland Conference approval.

Meanwhile, the Astros and the Texans keep promising to update all involved on their games for this weekend, but have yet to follow through. The Astros were supposed to have announced something around noon, but that time has passed with no new info. And the Texans are promising some kind of answer at about 4:00 p.m.

UPDATE NO. 2: We've just received word that Friday's Astros game has been postponed. No final call yet on Saturday and Sunday. And still no word on the Texans.

UPDATE NO. 3: Friday and Saturday's games between the Astros and Cubs have officially been postponed. The Chicago Tribune reports that this happened "despite efforts by Houston owner Drayton McLane to have the Cubs...play at Minute Maid Park."

The Tribune reports that McLane tried to force MLB's hand and have the Cubs fly to Houston tonight so as to play Friday afternoon, but this plan was rejected by the Cubs and MLB. As of now, the current plan is to attempt to play a doubleheader at Minute Maid Park on Sunday, with the final game to be played on Monday afternoon.

Speaking of cancellations, the Houston Comets have cancelled their game scheduled for Reliant Arena on Friday night. Also, Stephen F. Austin University has cancelled all scheduled sporting events for this weekend.

There is still no official word on the Houston Texans, though it is being reported that the NFL should be making an offiical decision within the next couple of hours. Among the options being discussed are playing the game on Monday night, or moving the game to a neutral site.

UPDATE NO. 4: The NFL has just announced that Sunday's game between the Texans and Baltimore Ravens, orginally scheduled for 3:15 at Reliant Stadium, will instead be played at Reliant Stadium om Monday night at 7:30.

Further, for any Baylor fans, Baylor's game against Washington State in Waco has been moved from Saturday afternoon to Friday night.

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