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The Cadet Field House has signs that read that the Air Force Academy had canceled all athletic events on Saturday Jan. 20, 2018 at the U.S. Air Force Academy 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)

The Cadet Field House has signs that read that the Air Force Academy had canceled all athletic events on Saturday Jan. 20, 2018 at the U.S. Air Force Academy 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)

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)

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)

People walk towards the Cadet Field House as a sign reads that the Air Force Academy has canceled all athletic events on Saturday Jan. 20, 2018 at the U.S. Air Force Academy 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)

People walk towards the Cadet Field House as a sign reads that the Air Force Academy has canceled all athletic events on Saturday Jan. 20, 2018 at the U.S. Air Force Academy 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)

A sign overs up the 'Today's Event' at Cadet Field House that reads that the Air Force Academy had canceled all athletic events on Saturday Jan. 20, 2018 at the U.S. Air Force Academy 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)

A sign overs up the 'Today's Event' at Cadet Field House that reads that the Air Force Academy had canceled all athletic events on Saturday Jan. 20, 2018 at the U.S. Air Force Academy 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)

A sign overs up the 'Today's Event' at Cadet Field House that reads that the Air Force Academy has canceled all athletic events on Saturday Jan. 20, 2018 at the U.S. Air Force Academy 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)

A sign overs up the 'Today's Event' at Cadet Field House that reads that the Air Force Academy has canceled all athletic events on Saturday Jan. 20, 2018 at the U.S. Air Force Academy 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)

Signs for the Air Force Hockey game for the evening game against Sacred Heart were discarded at Cadet Field House after the Air Force Academy has canceled all athletic events on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 at the U.S. Air Force Academy 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)

Signs for the Air Force Hockey game for the evening game against Sacred Heart were discarded at Cadet Field House after the Air Force Academy has canceled all athletic events on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 at the U.S. Air Force Academy 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 Cancels All Athletic Events Due to Government Shutdown

The Air Force Academy has canceled intercollegiate sports events because of the federal government shutdown.

The academy said Saturday both home and away events have been postponed.

"In the event a solution is reached, the Academy will work to reschedule as many missed events as possible," the school said in a statement.

The academy's online sports calender says seven intercollegiate events were scheduled Saturday, including 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.

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.

The Naval Academy Athletic Association is separate from the Naval Academy, with Army being set up the same way, according to USA Today Sports. ESPN reported Navy events are being played as scheduled as of Saturday with Army not announcing how it will handle the shutdown yet.

The shutdown began at midnight ET when U.S. Senators could not reach a resolution to continue funding the federal government.

Swimmer Michael Phelps reveals he considered suicide and battled depression after 2012 London Olympics

Swimming great Michael Phelps revealed that he has battled severe anxiety and depression for much of his life which drove him to consider suicide after his success at the 2012 Olympics.

Became Suicidal After 2012 Olympics, Reveals 23-time Gold Medallist Michael Phelps

Swimming great Michael Phelps revealed that he has battled severe anxiety and depression for much of his life which drove him to consider suicide after his success at the 2012 Olympics.

The Wider Image: South Korea's ghost ski resort

A ruined swimming pool is seen at the abandoned Alps Ski Resort located near the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas in Goseong, South Korea, January 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

The Wider Image: South Korea's ghost ski resort

A ruined swimming pool is seen at the abandoned Alps Ski Resort located near the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas in Goseong, South Korea, January 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

The Wider Image: South Korea's ghost ski resort

A ruined swimming pool is seen at the abandoned Alps Ski Resort located near the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas in Goseong, South Korea, January 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

The Wider Image: South Korea's ghost ski resort

A ruined swimming pool is seen at the abandoned Alps Ski Resort located near the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas in Goseong, South Korea, January 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Which Fan Base Is the Most Miserable? Ranking the Vikings, Eagles, Jaguars and Patriots

This year’s final four in the NFL consist of a team that last made the playoffs in 2007 (the Jacksonville Jaguars), a team that has not won an NFL championship in the Super Bowl era or at all since 1960 (the Philadelphia Eagles), a team that had its last significant playoff run end on a gut-wrenching missed chip shot field goal (the Minnesota Vikings) and the New England Patriots.

If you’re lucky enough to root for a team that has made it this far in the playoffs before, you know that part of the fun is regaling uninterested bystanders with stories about the struggle. How you stuck it out through thick and thin. How your pain as a fan is somehow different or more severe than another person’s (Boston, for example, has made a lucrative cottage industry out of this). It can make for quite the horrible conversation in a bar or boarding lane at the airport.

But which of this year’s teams actually has a claim to misery? Which supporters have truly weathered the trip down fan Cocytus and, eventually, Fan Hell?

Ahead of this weekend’s conference championship games, allow us to take a crack at the rankings…

1. Minnesota Vikings

When Blair Walsh missed that chip shot field goal against the Seahawks back in 2016, I remember a fan posting a video of his dad watching the final play. He was wearing a button down shirt and pajama pants and a Vikings snow beanie. When the kick sailed right, he whipped what appeared to be a cane and screamed He f------ missed it! (at this time, the man nearly slips on his area rug). He then picks up the cane and snaps it on an end table. A woman’s voice can be heard in the background saying “Oh, Troy. I am so sorry.”

It was heartbreaking. There’s Troy, screaming in front of his television and mounted fish. By the looks of his modern kitchen, he’s created a nice life for himself but it just doesn’t matter. His football team is difficult to root for.

I’ll bet Troy was old enough to remember the 1975 divisional game against the Cowboys, in which Roger Staubach hit Drew Pearson on a walk off Hail Mary, or the conference championship against Washington in ’88, when they were held scoreless at the goal line. He probably remembers 1998 when Gary Anderson missed a kick that would have guaranteed a Super Bowl appearance or the late Brett Favre pick in 2009 that handed the New Orleans Saints a trip to the big game. They are 0–4 in the Super Bowl, by the way.

In terms of a fan base deserving this, the Vikings have to be damn near the top across all professional sports. This weekend, the universe can hand it all back to folks like Troy.

And if not, well, Vikings fans can use this chart to determine the level of heartbreak.

2. New England Patriots

A few years back, I remember covering a Patriots playoff game and watching as Charles Barkley entered the locker room and began to hold court.

“When Bill Belichick leaves and Tom Brady leaves, y'all team is going to (expletive) suck,” he said at the time. “You take it for granted. You do take it for granted. You’re like, ‘We have to win the Super Bowl, or our season sucks.’”

It didn’t dawn on me until 2018, Brady’s 40th year on Earth, how true Barkley’s words rang at that time.

Bill Belichick has created a Death Star of fan haughtiness that can never be properly disassembled. When the Patriots dynasty finally crumbles, it will not be a controlled demolition. It will explode in significant fashion. Fan bases of 31 other NFL teams will celebrate.

That has to create an immense pressure for current fans. Have they savored these moments? Have they truly taken the time to taste the notes and flavors of each victory, or are they crushing 13 wins a season like parking-lot Bud Lights?

In 15 years, New England fans could very well be the NFL’s equivalent of the high school athlete who never left town. There are only so many times people will be willing to listen to stories about how great it used to be before they want to talk about the future. WHAT IS YOUR FUTURE!?

3. Philadelphia Eagles

I feel like Eagles fans make a production out of their heartache, but as far as a major sports city goes, they’ve had it pretty good. The Phillies won a World Series in 2008. The Andy Reid era yielded nine playoff appearances. The Chip Kelly era—a three-season peyote trip—was weird and wild, but also produced two 10-win seasons.

The town’s pluck and grit has been cinematically solidified over and over, from Rocky in 1976, to Barney Gorman in The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon (1998), to Mark Wahlberg playing Vince Papale in Invincible (2006) to Bradley Cooper’s performance as Patrizio Solitano in Silver Linings Playbook (2012).

We get it. We’re jealous of your milieu. But, spare me the heartache. The team’s most recent Super Bowl loss was a long slog through clock management school but wasn't cruel. And one of you punched a horse! And look, you’re scaring all these nice people from Minnesota.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars

This isn’t a shot at Jaguars fans. But the team really didn’t have expectations until the second or third year of general manager Dave Caldwell’s massive roster overhaul. It was a big deal when the Jaguars removed the tarp over the extra seats for a playoff game. For a while after owner Shad Khan built you that beautiful swimming pool, you barely used it.

If Jaguars fans take anything out of this exercise it should be to guard yourself against the success that might be coming. This roster is young—and stacked. Think of the Patriot fans covered in blankets and old Wes Welker jerseys, shielding themselves from a rapidly dying sun. There were probably things they would have done differently over the last 18 years. Learn from them.

Can You Build Muscle Mass Through Swimming?

Swimming is an excellent, low-impact exercise for burning calories and getting fit. It's ideal for those with injuries, joint problems or other issues...

Can You Build Muscle Mass Through Swimming?

Swimming is an excellent, low-impact exercise for burning calories and getting fit. It's ideal for those with injuries, joint problems or other issues...

Can You Build Muscle Mass Through Swimming?

Swimming is an excellent, low-impact exercise for burning calories and getting fit. It's ideal for those with injuries, joint problems or other issues...

Missy Franklin starting new year, new chapter in Georgia

FILE -In this June 4, 2016, file photo, Missy Franklin competes in the finals of the women's 200-meter freestyle at the Longhorn Aquatics Elite Invite swimming event in Austin, Texas. The five-time Olympic gold medalist has relocated to Athens, Ga., where she is pursuing a psychology degree and mounting a comeback in the pool. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

FILE -In this June 4, 2016, file photo, Missy Franklin competes in the finals of the women's 200-meter freestyle at the Longhorn Aquatics Elite Invite swimming event in Austin, Texas. The five-time Olympic gold medalist has relocated to Athens, Ga., where she is pursuing a psychology degree and mounting a comeback in the pool. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

The Tennis Debate: Nick Kyrgios’s magnetism is badly needed with Big Four finally on the wane

Nick Kyrgios is a bit like a 22-man shoving match in a game of football.  Yes, they set a bad example to children, yes they can be unedifying, and yes they can sometimes overstep the mark.  But both are also extremely entertaining and amusing to watch, and there's usually no real harm done.  Kyrgios, as has been well documented, is tennis’s answer to marmite (or, given his nationality, should that be vegemite?). For some the 22-year-old is an enfant terrible whose sledging of opponents and occasional tanking are disgraceful examples of his unsportsmanlike behaviour. For others he’s a fascinating young man who plays majestic tennis and is merely hitting a few bumps in the road as he tries to cope with being a professional athlete.  Wherever one stands on the debate though, surely no-one can deny his magnetism. And with the ‘Big Four’ era seemingly on the wane at last, tennis desperately needs some new stars. Australian Open 2018 | Key information for first grand slam of year As a tournament director, selling tickets to a Kyrgios match is a cinch - fans are likely to get either scintillating shot-making or an existential crisis, or a combination of both. Who wouldn’t want to see that?  And who wouldn’t want to hear Kyrgios’s post-match analysis of why he has just been beaten? Forget the “it was a tough match that could have gone either way” platitudes, Kyrgios once said of a Wimbledon defeat to Andy Murray: "To be honest, I woke up this morning and played computer games. Is that the greatest preparation? I don't know. But it was fun.” Imagine now you’re that tournament director trying to sell tickets to, say, a regulation Tomas Berdych match.   What’s your pitch there? “Roll up, roll up. Get your line and length groundstrokes. You want percentage tennis played to a T? Have I got the guy for you!” Special report: Cheating claims, Christmas McDonald's and throwing matches to catch flights - the reality of pro tennis away from the elite This is not meant as a slight on Berdych, who has been a model of professionalism and consistency for more than a decade.  It’s just that sport should be about variety, and star quality, and above all fun. Kyrgios is a hyperactive amalgamation of all has all of those qualities , and at a time when tennis has been producing serve-bots like Milos Raonic and nice-but-bland Marin Cilic types, it’s stimulating to have someone a little bit different, and let’s face it a little bit unhinged. It’s probably unfair that the model pros generate so much less interest than the mercurial Kyrgios, but it's human nature to be more intrigued by the mad than the mundane.  And the great thing about tennis is there’s room for both - try for example to find similarities with David Ferrer’s game style and Kyrgios's. It's impossible - it would be like comparing swimming lengths to playing water polo.  The Aussie certainly has his faults, but we shouldn't take his misdemeanours too seriously, and I can't wait to see which way the Kyrgios roulette wheel spins at the Australian Open over the next two weeks.  Where do you stand on the Nick Kyrgios debate? Have your say in the comments section below

WU05. Harbin (China), 06/01/2018.- A participant exits from a pool after swimming in the freezing waters of the Songhua River during a winter swimming competition at the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 06 January 2018. About 600 winter swimmers took part in the competition. EFE/EPA/WU HONG

WU05. Harbin (China), 06/01/2018.- A participant prepares to swim in the freezing waters of the Songhua River during a winter swimming competition at the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 06 January 2018. About 600 winter swimmers took part in the competition. EFE/EPA/WU HONG

WU05. Harbin (China), 06/01/2018.- Participants come out from a waiting room as they prepare to swim in the freezing waters of the Songhua River during a winter swimming competition at the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 06 January 2018. About 600 winter swimmers took part in the competition. EFE/EPA/WU HONG

WU05. Harbin (China), 06/01/2018.- A participant swims in the freezing waters of the Songhua River during a winter swimming competition at the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 06 January 2018. About 600 winter swimmers took part in the competition. EFE/EPA/WU HONG

WU05. Harbin (China), 06/01/2018.- A participant poses for photo after swimming in the freezing waters of the Songhua River during a winter swimming competition at the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 06 January 2018. About 600 winter swimmers took part in the competition. EFE/EPA/WU HONG

WU05. Harbin (China), 06/01/2018.- A participant swims in the freezing waters of the Songhua River during a winter swimming competition at the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 06 January 2018. About 600 winter swimmers took part in the competition. EFE/EPA/WU HONG

WU05. Harbin (China), 06/01/2018.- A participant swims in the freezing waters of the Songhua River during a winter swimming competition at the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 06 January 2018. About 600 winter swimmers took part in the competition. EFE/EPA/WU HONG

WU05. Harbin (China), 06/01/2018.- A participant swims in the freezing waters of the Songhua River during a winter swimming competition at the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 06 January 2018. About 600 winter swimmers took part in the competition. EFE/EPA/WU HONG

WU05. Harbin (China), 06/01/2018.- Participants jump into the freezing waters of the Songhua River during a winter swimming competition at the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 06 January 2018. About 600 winter swimmers took part in the competition. EFE/EPA/WU HONG

WU05. Harbin (China), 06/01/2018.- Participants jump into the freezing waters of the Songhua River during a winter swimming competition at the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 06 January 2018. About 600 winter swimmers took part in the competition. EFE/EPA/WU HONG

WU05. Harbin (China), 06/01/2018.- Participants warm up as they prepare to swim in the freezing waters of the Songhua River during a winter swimming competition at the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 06 January 2018. About 600 winter swimmers took part in the competition. EFE/EPA/WU HONG

WU05. Harbin (China), 06/01/2018.- A participant exits from a pool after swimming in the freezing waters of the Songhua River during a winter swimming competition at the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 06 January 2018. About 600 winter swimmers took part in the competition. EFE/EPA/WU HONG

WU05. Harbin (China), 06/01/2018.- A participant prepares to swim in the freezing waters of the Songhua River during a winter swimming competition at the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 06 January 2018. About 600 winter swimmers took part in the competition. EFE/EPA/WU HONG

WU05. Harbin (China), 06/01/2018.- A participant exits from a pool after swimming in the freezing waters of the Songhua River during a winter swimming competition at the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 06 January 2018. About 600 winter swimmers took part in the competition. EFE/EPA/WU HONG

WU05. Harbin (China), 06/01/2018.- An aerial view shows participants swimming in the freezing waters of the Songhua River during a winter swimming competition at the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 06 January 2018. About 600 winter swimmers took part in the competition. EFE/EPA/WU HONG

WU05. Harbin (China), 06/01/2018.- A participant swims in the freezing waters of the Songhua River during a winter swimming competition at the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 06 January 2018. About 600 winter swimmers took part in the competition. EFE/EPA/WU HONG

WU05. Harbin (China), 06/01/2018.- An aerial view shows participants swimming in the freezing waters of the Songhua River during a winter swimming competition at the 34th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 06 January 2018. About 600 winter swimmers took part in the competition. EFE/EPA/WU HONG

Swimmers brave cold in ice swimming contest in Harbin, China

Swimmers compete in an ice swimming contest in a pool carved from the frozen ice of the Songhua river, during the annual Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province.

Swimmers brave cold in ice swimming contest in Harbin, China

Swimmers compete in an ice swimming contest in a pool carved from the frozen ice of the Songhua river, during the annual Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province.

Swimmers brave cold in ice swimming contest in Harbin, China

Swimmers compete in an ice swimming contest in a pool carved from the frozen ice of the Songhua river, during the annual Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, in China's northeast Heilongjiang province.

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