Chad Greenway (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)
The Vikings have become accustomed to changes this year, and they were trying to deal with their three-day layover in Philadelphia because of another delayed game.
It seems that, no matter what they do, the Vikings just can’t seem to stick to their normal game-planning routine. Ever since the roof of the Metrodome collapsed, the Vikings have been nomads in search of a place to play. After having home games switched to Ford Field in Detroit and TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota, the Vikings finally got to have a “normal” work week heading into Philadelphia … until it would seem the dark cloud that has hung over the team followed them on the road.
An early East Coast blizzard blanketed the eastern seaboard with anywhere between one foot and two feet of snow, leaving more questions about whether the game scheduled for last night would be played as scheduled. As it turned out, the ruling for fan safety – the potential for thousands of fans being stranded in the parking lot following the game – prompted to move.
There was a lot of confusion Sunday morning as to what the plan was. Head coach Leslie Frazier said the maddening part for the Vikings was simply not knowing. Once the news came down, Frazier said the team was fine with the decision.
“I sense that the guys wanted information,” Frazier said. “They wanted to know what was going on, what was happening. Once that information was conveyed, it seemed as if they understood the situation. They knew exactly what we needed to do to stay focused on what we came up here to do – and that’s to win against the Eagles.”
That challenge was delayed until 7 p.m. Central Tuesday because of the storm.
The Vikings have found themselves forced to adjust their regular routine. But linebacker Heath Farwell said that the Vikings are getting used to expecting the unexpected.
“We’re just going to roll with it,” Farwell said. “That’s what we have to do. We’ve had a lot of adversity this year and this is another example of it. We’re professionals and we have to adapt to what’s given to us.’
As if there couldn’t be any more drama or surprises to the soap opera season, the Vikings spent Sunday shopping for clothes, since most players only brought enough clothes for an overnight trip. Chad Greenway said the Vikings are trying to look at the delay as if they’re playing in a college bowl game, where players come to the venue days in advance of the game, but admitted that the 2010 season just continues to get stranger by the day.
“It’s just another interesting twist to our season,” Greenway said. “It’s been tough to deal with all the distractions and this just adds to it.”
The decision to move the game to Tuesday isn’t sitting all that well with some in the Eagles organization, since it creates a scenario in which the team would potentially play three games in 12 days.
The tough-guy persona of Philadelphia was displayed in its newspaper coverage of the postponed game. On the front page of The Philadelphia Daily News there were photos including those of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, naming them among the “wimps” that postponed the game. On the back page, they took a shot at Minnesota, making light of the fact that, despite having a roof on their stadium, it can’t keep out the snow.
The Vikings-Eagles game will be the first NFL game played on a Tuesday since 1946.
NBC will carry the game Tuesday night, pre-empting its usual TV lineup.
The Vikings will have both the Bears and Packers cheering them Tuesday night. With a Vikings win, the Bears would clinch a first-round bye. As such, they may be more likely to bench some starters against their hated rival the Packers, who can clinch a playoff spot with a win next week against the Bears.
The buzz around the Eagles is that the Vikings are still planning to play Brett Favre, even though no public word has been made that Favre has passed the required battery of post-concussion tests that would allow him on the field.
While Favre likely remains out, the extra two days is good news for Adrian Peterson, who made significant progress during the week of practice and, although listed as questionable, is expected to play Tuesday.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.