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Shutdown grounds Air Force sports, upends NFL viewing

/ 11:27 AM January 21, 2018

Clune Arena was empty two hours before the game as the Air Force Academy had canceled all athletic events due to a federal government shutdown on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Hours after the partial shutdown took effect, the academy said both home and away events have been postponed. The academy’s online sports calendar lists seven competitions that had been set for Saturday: men’s and women’s basketball games at Fresno State, men’s and women’s swimming at UNLV, men’s hockey against Sacred Heart at the academy and men’s gymnastics against Oklahoma at the academy. (Dougal Brownlie/The Gazette via AP)

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — The federal government shutdown prompted the Air Force Academy on Saturday to call off sports events and upended plans for military outside the U.S. wanting to follow the NFL’s conference playoff games on TV and radio.

Games involving the Army and Navy men’s basketball teams were played as scheduled.

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Hours after the partial shutdown took effect, the Air Force Academy said both home and away events have been postponed. Among them were the men’s and women’s basketball games at Fresno State

The American Forces Network, which broadcasts American radio and television programming in Europe and other locations outside the U.S., put a message on its Facebook page that said its services would not be available “due to the government shutdown.”

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The notice sparked angry reactions from viewers, with several noting the timing couldn’t have been worse. The two NFL conference championships are Sunday — Minnesota vs. Philadelphia and Jacksonville vs. New England.

“During NFL PLAYOFFS?!” one post read. “AFN, start a GoFundMe & broadcast these games! Make it happen!”

The Air Force Academy’s online sports calendar lists seven competitions that had been set for Saturday. In addition to the basketball, there men’s and women’s swimming at UNLV, men’s hockey against Sacred Heart at the academy and men’s gymnastics against Oklahoma at the academy.

The rifle team was scheduled to compete against TCU, the Coast Guard and Ohio State at TCU.

On Sunday, the academy has tennis and wrestling events scheduled.

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