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Original Issue

Hit the Road

Move out the team, send in the clowns

LAST WEEK Scotland's Inverness Caledonian Thistle pulled out of this summer's Intertoto Cup, a major European soccer competition. The reason: Elton John (right) had already been booked to play in Caley's stadium on one of the tournament dates. It's not the first time a team was unwelcome at home.

1950: In an era when lion tamers are a better draw than hockey, the New York Rangers are forced out of Madison Square Garden during the Stanley Cup finals by the circus. The Rangers move two home games to Toronto—they split them—then lose to Detroit in seven games.

1968: With the circus occupying the Teaneck Armory, the New Jersey Americans need a home away from home for their one-game ABA playoff with the Kentucky Colonels. They pick Commack Arena on Long Island, N.Y. Alas, when the teams arrive, they find the court full of holes. "Even the yahoos back in Kentucky wouldn't play on this floor," says Colonels coach Gene Rhodes. New Jersey is forced to forfeit.

1992: With the Republican Convention taking place at the Astrodome, the Houston Astros hit the road for 28 days. The worst part: laundry piling up. During a game in Chicago, outfielder Gerald Young holds up a sign to the TV cameras: HEY MOM, SEND CLEAN UNDERWEAR! I'M OUT.

1994: Chances are, the Florida women's basketball team does not find Rod Stewart sexy. A concert by the aging rocker at the O'Connell Center means that the fourth-seeded Lady Gators have to play their first-round NCAA tournament game at Texas A&M, where the 13th-seeded Aggies pull off a 78--76 upset. "I'm now going to go ... get every Rod Stewart album," Texas A&M coach Lynn Hickey says.

2004: The GOP is at it again, as their convention forces the New York Liberty from the Garden. The games are played on the stage at Radio City Music Hall, where, for the first time in the 72-year history of the hallowed venue, hot dogs are sold at an event.

2006: The Ottawa Senators have to start their second-round playoff series with the Buffalo Sabres a day early because Dora the Explorer (right) has dibs on Scotiabank Place for two days. Making the best of the situation, Senators right wing Daniel Alfredsson has his three-year-old son's birthday party at a performance. "He can count to six in Spanish now," Alfredsson says of his son, Hugo. "It's a pretty good show."