Coronavirus: A look at the other times sports seasons have been interrupted


The coronavirus pandemic has caused countries around the world to make changes to many aspects of life, including sports. Due to the unknowns of the virus and tits rapid spread, many sporting events have either been cancelled, postponed or are being played in front of no fans. 

Italy has cancelled all sporting events, the NBA has suspended their season indefinitely, nearly every college tournament has been either canceled or suspended and many other events are halting as a result of the coronavirus. On Thursday, MLB, MLS, the NHL all joined the NBA in stopping their season until further notice. 

The suspension of nearly every sport has left seasons incomplete and fans searching for something new to tune into. While the scale is much larger than in the past, with multiple seasons being halted at once, this is not the first time we have seen a season interrupted. 

Here is a look at the other times sports stopped before their year was completed:

MLB:

After the September 11th attacks, the 2001 season temporarily paused and did not resume until September 17. 

The player’s strike that ended the 1994 season began on August 12 and wound up with MLB canceling the World Series for the only time in hits history. The strike carried into the 1995 season, cutting it short to 144 games. That season started on April 25. 

In 1981, a work stoppage lead to the cancellation of 713 games that season. It started on June 12 of that year with play resuming on August 9, when the All-Star Game took place.

The first player’s strike took place in 1972 and spanned from April 1 to April 13, totaling 86 cancelled games. Instead of making up the games, the teams just went with an imbalanced number of games to close out the regular season. 

One of the more unique play stoppages in Major League Baseball occurred during the second modern World Series. In 1904 the Series was cancelled because the National League champion New York Giants refused to play the American League’s Boston Americans. New York vs. Boston has really always been a rivalry.

NHL:

The NHL has seen several work stoppages over the past three decades, most notably the 2004-05 lockout which cost the league an entire season and playoffs was only the second time the Stanley Cup was not awarded since its inception. The Cup has the words “2004-05 Season Not Played,” engraved on it where the names of the winning team would have been.

More recently, the 2012-13 season was shortened because of a lockout, going from 82 games to 48. 

A lockout in the 1994-95 season also resulted in a decreased amount of games. That was shortened from 84 to 48 games. 

One of the shorter stoppage in plays happened during 1992 after a players’ strike. The strike started on April 1 and ended on April 12. All games impacted by the strike were rescheduled. 

The 1919 the Stanley Cup Finals between the NHL champion Montreal Canadiens and the PCHA’s Seattle Metropolitans was cancelled due to a Spanish Flu outbreak. When it was called off, the teams were 2-2 in the series with one tie. The sixth game of the series was cancelled after multiple players on each team fell ill. 

That year’s engraving says “1919 Montreal Canadiens Seattle Metropolitans Series Not Completed”

Canadiens manager George Kennedy was hospitalized, and later died years later after never fully recovering. The Spanish flu resulted in 5-10 million deaths across the world. 

NBA: 

The NBA season has stopped twice due to a lockout. The first was in the 1998-99 season and it lasted for six months. The stoppage caused the season to be shortened to 50 games. 

The second time this occurred was in 2011, resulting in the 2011-12 regular season to consist of only 66 games. 

NFL:

In 2001, the NFL season was postponed after the September 11 attacks. The games were rescheduled and played at the end of the season. 

A 24-day strike in 1987 shortened the regular season to just 15 games.

In 1982, a strike cut the regular season down to nine games. Instead of ten teams making the playoffs that year, the league had 16 teams qualify.

Masters:

Since the Masters began in 1934, the only time the tournament was called off until now was because of World War II. The tournament was not played from 1943-45.

Olympics:

The 1916 Summer Olympics, 1940 Winter Olympics, 1940 Summer Olympics, 1944 Winter Olympics and 1944 Summer Olympics were all canceled during wartime. 





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