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LEEInks List: LeBron James not only athlete affected by stadium conditions

06.06.14 at 2:57 pm ET

Game 1 of the NBA Finals will forever be remembered  for Heat star LeBron James being carried off the court inside a sweltering AT&T Center. James cramped up late in the fourth quarter as a result of the San Antonio venue’s nearly 90-degree temperatures after its air conditioner malfunctioned.

James missed the game’s final four-plus minutes due to the cramping, and the Spurs went on a furious run down the stretch for a 110-95 win to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The unfavorable conditions certainly had an affect on the game, as Miami was forced to play without its star at the end. However, this isn’t the first time stadium conditions have had an affect on a professional sporting event both locally and nationally.

Here is a look at 10 other occasions — five local and five national — when stadium conditions have impacted games.


5. Patriots-Dolphins, Dec. 7, 2003, snowstorm at Gillette StadiumGillette Stadium was christened with its first real snowy experience on Dec. 7, 2003, when the Foxboro area was hit with 28 inches of snow from Friday night into Sunday. The Patriots beat the Dolphins 12-0 to clinch the AFC East title, but the game is most remembered for Tedy Bruschi‘€™s 5-yard interception return for a touchdown, and the crowd tossing the powdery snow up and into the wind in celebration.

4. Patriots-Dolphins, Dec. 12, 1982, “Snowplow game” The Patriots and Dolphins were locked in a scoreless tie with 4:45 left in a Dec. 12, 1982, game at a cold and snowy Schaefer Stadium in Foxboro. But the Pats got some cooking from none other than tractor driver Mark Henderson to come away with the 3-0 victory.

The Patriots called a timeout before John Smith lined up to attempt a 33-yard field goal, and Henderson came through with his sweeper to clear the snow where Smith was expected to kick the ball. The next spring the NFL rued that referees could not allow groundskeepers to clear snow before a kick.

3. Celtics-Lakers 1984 NBA Finals, Game 5, “The Heat Game” — The Spurs and Heat weren’t the first NBA teams to be impacted by sweltering heat in a finals game. On June 8, 1984, the Celtics and Lakers participated what became known as “€œThe Heat Game” in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

It was a reported 97 degrees inside Boston Garden, a building without air conditioning, which made for nearly unbearable playing conditions. Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 37 years old at the time, could be seen on the bench with an oxygen mask over his face, gasping for air. It was even hard on the officials, as referee Hugh Evans reportedly had to stop at halftime due to dehydration.

One player who didn’t seem to mind was Larry Bird, who finished with 34 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Celtics to a 121-103 win in a series they’€™d take in seven games.

2. Patriots-Raiders, Jan. 19, 2002, “Snow Bowl” game The 2002 AFC divisional playoff game between the Patriots and Raiders will forever be remembered for the “tuck rule.”€ But what can’€™t be forgotten is the snow that swept New England in what would be the final game in the old Foxboro Stadium.

The weather conditions made it difficult to punch the ball into the end zone. The Patriots’€™ only touchdown came on a run by a 24-year-old Tom Brady, who completed 32 of his 52 passes for 312 yards but also missed a pair of open targets in the end zone. Adam Vinatieri knocked a 23-yard field goal in overtime to seal the 16-13 win.

1. Bruins-Oilers, 1988 Stanley Cup finals, Game 4, fog, power outage halts game — Trailing 3-0 to an Oilers team on the brink of dynasty status, the Bruins were playing for their season at Boston Garden in Game 4 of the 1988 Stanley finals. For nearly two periods, that’s exactly what they did. But the overwhelming heat of a late-May day in New England caused clouds of fog to form on ice, and with the game tied at 3-3 with 3:23 left in the second, the lights went out due to a power failure.

The game was eventually called off, and the series proceeded directly to Game 5, which Edmonton won to sweep the series in, yes, five games. If Boston had won Games 5 through 7, Game 4 would have been replayed in Boston to determine a champion, as is stated in NHL bylaw 27-12.


5. Yankees-Indians, 2007 ALDS, Game 2, insects swarm Joba Chamberlain A large group of bugs took over Jacobs Field during Game 2 of the 2007 ALDS on Oct. 5, 2007, and appeared to be particularly drawn to Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain. Chamberlain was covered with about 20 or so insects on his neck, but the bugs proved to be more than a nuisance as the right-hander threw two wild pitches to send home Grady Sizemore with the tying run.

4. Ravens-49ers, Super Bowl XLVII, Feb. 3, 2013, power outage at Superdome The Ravens were seemingly in control of Super Bowl XLVII after Jacoby Jones returned the opening kickoff of the second half 108 yards to give Baltimore a 28-6 lead over the 49ers. But the story of the game changed completely as a power outage in the Louisiana Superdome led to a 34-minute delay.

The Ravens ultimately won the game 34-31, but not before a furious comeback by the 49ers, which many believe was aided by the delay. San Francisco outscored Baltimore 25-6 following the break.

3. Athletics-Giants, 1989 World Series, Game 3, earthquake suspends series — The 1989 World Series was suspended for 10 days when the Loma Prieta earthquake struck the Bay Area just prior to Game 3 between the Athletics and Giants at Candlestick Park on Oct. 17, 1989. While all was well at the ballpark, the earthquake killed 63 people and injured thousands. It measured 6.9 on the Richter Scale.

The series resumed on Oct. 27 and the A’€™s went went on to sweep the Giants in four games.

2. Eagles-Bears, 1988 NFC playoffs, “Fog Bowl” On Dec. 31, 1988, Soldier Field has hit with a significant fog that dominated the NFC divisional playoff game between the Bears and the Eagles. Participants in the game remember it as a bizarre experience that made it near impossible to figure out what was going on at certain moments in the game.

The fog made it difficult to see beyond a 10- to- 15-yard radius. CBS used the two sideline cameras dedicated to the network’€™s pregame show to give fans a better view of the action. Soldier Field public address announcer Jim Riebandt couldn’t see the field or the scoreboard, either.

1. Packers-Cowboys, 1967 NFL championship game, “Ice Bowl’€ The 1967 NFL championship game will forever be remembered as the “Ice Bowl.” Lambeau Field was hit with numbing temperatures — 13 degrees below 0, with a minus 40-degree wind chill, a day still recorded as the coldest Dec. 31 in Green Bay history.

But the 50,861 fans in attendance still filled the Lambeau seats as Vince Lombardi‘s Packers downed the warm-weather Cowboys 21-17.