I have read that some famous couples, chief officers of large corporations, etc., never fly together, so as not to wipe out a company all at once, in the event of an accident Knowing that all pro sports teams travel by air, coast to coast, and state to state, is it general policy to have the entire team, and support staff, on the same flight, or, are two, or maybe three planes used, to insure continuity in the event of a tragedy.
It’s perfectly sensible to do just this thing. In the private sector, it’s completely up to each company’s Chief of Security (or whatever title he/she carries) to make up the rules that govern this.
I don’t know of any particular examples, and I don’t think anyone really would. That corporate Chief of Security wouldn’t exactly want to tip his/her hand at what they do as far as standard operating procedures (SOP).
Your question is kind of nebulous, and I guess all I can answer it with is, “Well, it depends. . .”
I know, I’m a big help, aren’t I?
Absolutely. It’s a stated policy with a lot of corporations that people have to take separate flights. I can’t remember which companies it was or when, but I ran into this many times during my years as an Admin.
No idea about sports teams.
The most famous couple that don’t travel together are the President and Vice-President.
Syracuse University has (or had) a detailed policy on the idea:
Sports teams all travel together. Each league has in place, however, a contingency plan should, Og forbid, a plane go down. MLB, for example, would hold an emergency draft of players from the other teams to fill the ranks of the depleted team, along with bringing up the majority of their AAA Farm club. Other sports have similar plans filed away. Only prudent. I’ll see if I can dig up the specifics.
Airline pilot here. I’ve flown a lot of sports charters, both pro and college.
When a team travels, we haul them all on one plane. We’ve got the players, the coaches, the trainers, and a few generic staff types, plus often a couple wives and one or two press types. We also have all, or at least most, of their personal gear in the belly.
Particlularly for a football team, a lot of the sideline equipment goes by truck, plus a crew of equipment handlers. Baseball and hockey (remember them?) have a lot less sideline gear and most of that tends to ride with us too.
if we went down with 100% killed, the team would still have its ownership, the head office, a coach or two, and any players not traveling to that game. And that’s about it.
On the ride to/from the airport, they’re normally split into 2 or 3 busses, plus a limo or two for the fatcats or head coaches. But that’s mostly due to that large a headcount not fitting in a single bus, rather than any concern about accidents.
Oddly enough, the hockey teams are by far the best behaved, while baseball is the worst. Sort of the opposite of what one might expect from their on-stage personnas.
I believe each team lists one player on their roster to be on the “death squad” in case a plane crashes. The name of the player is kept confidential; only the team and the league office knows who it is (to protect the players’ egos). I’m not sure if the names would go into a draft, or if they automatically move to the new city and team.
The way I see it, it’s a different way of distributing the risk, rather than reducing it. Splitting up a group leaves you with a remnant in case of disaster, but increases the risk of a lesser disaster occurring in the first place. For sports teams, the immediate fallout would be virtually the same, with the season effectively over.
There was the famous tragedy during WWII of the “Fighting Sullivans,” five brothers who went down together when their ship was sunk. This tragic case led to the “Sullivan Rule” forbidding such clusters of family members in combat postings. What people may tend to overlook in the Sullivan case, though, is that while their outcome was extremely unlucky, the Sullivans were arguably following a pretty intelligent strategy for maximizing their collective chances of surviving the war as an intact family, with zero casualties. If the loss of even one brother would result in grief and misery for the others (roughly as much unquantifiable unhappiness as mourning, say, two or three brothers), and sticking together favors either 100% survival or massive casualties, then theirs was an understandable gamble. Besides, there’s the key factor of mutual protection and cooperation – their devotion to each other’s wellbeing would enhance the survival prospects if any one of them were to be seriously wounded, imperilled by a fire, etc.
The most noteable example that comes to my mind was the Marshall University Football Team, of 1970.
I can’t remember it happening to any professional sports team though.
Not pro sports, but the entire US figure skating team - skaters, coaches, officials from the US Figure Skating Association - died in a plane crash en route to the world championships in 1961.
While it’s true an entire pro sports team has not been wiped out in a crash (that I have found), half of one did with the entire team onboard. In 1958 the Manchester United football (soccer) team crashed on takeoff, killing 8 of 17 players on board, and 23 people total.
I work for a large company with several private planes, including a Leerjet-like small jet plane that a lot of big-wigs get on together all the time.
We often fly as a huge group on one of our two F70’s – I’ve always wondered what would happen to our current program if it took out half of the team all in one blow. Uh, I don’t really want to know, though.
I’ve re-read your post three times, and I just can not grasp the reasoning behind it.As an example, you are telling me that George Steinbrenner, owner of the NY Yankees, is comfortable with your scenario, that he has your contingency plan in place at this time, and that is what would be implemented should his entire multi- million dollar team go down in a plane crash. Why, if this leaks out, it would be headline news all over the world.
I have no idea why, but the artist Christo and his wife do not fly together. Cite.
I don’t understand your post. Please clarify.
Also, it is quite possible that major sports teams have bought insurance that would pay off if a plane carrying the team crashed. This would at least keep the team solvent.
My post was in responce to
silenus in post # 5.
Thank you for the cite. Personally, I am shocked.
I’ll have to have a conversation with George, this weekend.
Yep. MLB has a ‘disaster draft’ plan in place in which teams get to take players off others major league rosters in mid-season should a catastrophe take out all or most of the major league squad.
I recall this being discussed when the Angels bus crashed and rolled on the New Jersey turnpike in 1992.
Is it possible for the Devil Rays to invoke this clause just on the basis of their on-field performance this year?