Paul Tagliabue, right, postponed a scheduled hearing overseeing the New… (M. Spencer Green / Associated…)
The megastorm expected to create massive problems along the Eastern Seaboard over the coming days is already affecting sports.
Weather concerns prompted former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to postpone a scheduled Tuesday appeals hearing that he was to oversee in the New Orleans Saints' bounty-related case, with no new date immediately announced.
And the Boston Celtics will make their first road trip of the NBA season a day earlier than planned, choosing to fly into Miami on Sunday instead of Monday in an effort to beat the storm.
High school events along the East Coast — from Florida to North Carolina, New Jersey to Massachusetts — also have been either rescheduled or postponed because of the storm, which was blamed for more than 40 deaths in the Caribbean before it began churning north. In Florida, several college soccer games in recent days were affected, as were some elements of the Miami Heat weeklong celebration that ends with Tuesday's start of the NBA season.
Even gambling will feel a hit: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered that Atlantic City's 12 casinos be evacuated Sunday afternoon.
Tagliabue is expected to announce a new date for the Saints' hearing in the coming days. Meanwhile, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is monitoring the storm's path, but did not anticipate a need for any changes to this weekend's schedule.
Philadelphia is also expected to get hit by the storm, though the 76ers do not expect their Wednesday opener at home against Denver to be adversely affected.
"I am told that even with a very bad storm, the game will go on schedule," Adam Aron, the 76ers' chief executive, wrote in response to a question he received on Twitter.
Forecasters expect the worst of the storm to affect a huge swath of the East on Monday and Tuesday. Up to two feet of snow is predicted for West Virginia, a flood watch was in effect for New York, and experts said power outages could be possible from Virginia to Maine.
So instead of flying into the mess, the Celtics are seeking better weather before the worst of the storm hits.
They'll fly to Miami on Sunday evening, then practice at AmericanAirlines Arena on Monday — the last workout before their meeting with the champion Heat on Tuesday night, in a rematch of last season's epic Eastern Conference finals. The Celtics' original travel plan called for a Monday arrival in Miami.
The first game of the NBA regular season might also be affected. Washington and Cleveland tip the season off at 7 p.m. on Tuesday — about an hour before Boston-Miami will get going — and the Wizards also were keeping a close eye on the storm's path. As of Saturday afternoon, the Wizards had no plans to alter their travel schedule.
Van Pelt leads in Malaysia
Bo Van Pelt missed a chance for a 59 on Saturday when he closed with a double bogey in the third round of the CIMB Classic at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Van Pelt, the defending champion in the unofficial PGA Tour event, birdied four of the first six holes, then birdied five in a row from the eighth on the par-71 Mines Resort course. He had two more birdies to reach 11 under in the round and only needed one more to break 60.
However, he hit his approach on the par-four 18th into the greenside bunker and needed a chip and two putts to finish. He ended up with a nine-under 62 for a share of the third-round lead with Robert Garrigus at 16 under.
Garrigus had 69. Chris Kirk shot a 63 to move to 15 under.
Tiger Woods birdied five of the first eight holes, but had three bogeys and a double bogey on the back nine and finished at 69. He was 11 under.
Sweden's Peter Hanson shot a two-under 70 to take a one-stroke lead over Ryder Cup teammate Rory McIlroy after the third round of the European Tour's BMW Masters in Shanghai. Hanson, the KLM Open winner last month, had a 15-under 200 total at Lake Malaren.
The top-ranked McIlroy, the winner last year when the event was an unofficial tournament, had a 69.
South Africa's George Coetzee was third at 13 under after a 66.
South Korea's Inbee Park shot an eight-under 64 to take a two-stroke lead after the third round of the LPGA Taiwan Championship at Yang Mei.
Park had two eagles and five birdies to reach 18-under 198 at the Sunrise Golf and Country Club. The tour money leader won the won the LPGA Malaysia two weeks ago for her second victory of the year.
Norway's Suzann Pettersen was second after a 66. She won last week in South Korea.
Mark Calcavecchia shot a three-under 69 to increase his lead to four strokes after the second round of the Champions Tour's AT&T Championship at San Antonio.
Calcavecchia, three strokes ahead after the completion of the rain-delayed first round, had an eight-under 136 total on TPC San Antonio's Canyons Course. Kenny Perry was second after his second straight 70.
Denny Hamlin ducked under Matt Crafton with five laps to go and won the NASCAR Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.