December 11, 2010
No, Gus Johnson isn't doing the Minnesota Vikings-New York Giants game originally scheduled for 1:00 EST on Sunday, and in fact no one is. The game has been rescheduled to Monday night at 8:00 EST, according to SI's Peter King. That game will be shown regionally on FOX, and the country will see the scheduled Monday Night Football matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the Houston Texans. The reason: A huge blizzard has socked the Minneapolis area, closing all airport runways, pulling Metro buses in and even delaying snowplow service as if Saturday afternoon because conditions are so dangerous. Among those people who are affected by the Minneapolis airport closure is the Giants team, who tried to get to the Twin Cities before the worst of the storm hit. That didn't happen, and the team's flight was diverted to Kansas City, where the team will spend the night.
The snow is supposed to level off by Saturday night, but up to 18 inches of snow is expected in Minneapolis, and the storm has affected travel throughout the Midwest. The next problem for Minnesotans, and those trying to get to the game in any way, will be the below-zero temperatures estimated for Sunday morning. At this time, there are no estimates regarding when incoming and outgoing flights (and other safe travel) will be feasible.
The NFL was not in the habit of cancelling games due to weather. Former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue cancelled all games the Sunday following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, but even the New Orleans Saints didn't miss a game in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The NFL simply moved the Saints' home opener in 2005 to, interestingly enough, Giants Stadium. The most famous weather game ever was the 1967 NFL Championship game, in which the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys tussled in temperatures of 13-below zero at the start of the game -- temperatures that dipped below as the game went on.
Team spokesman Pat Hanlon first said on Twitter that the team was playing cards and video games to pass the time at first. As time went on, Hanlon then Tweeted that the Giants would be staying overnight in Kansas City. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello added on his Twitter account (welcome to the new news cycle, America), that there was no decision as of late Saturday afternoon how things would be handled as time went on and if travel issues became more complicated.
The Vikings aren't exactly enjoying themselves either. From AP:
The Vikings weren’t exactly enjoying a hassle-free weekend, either, simply because they were at home. Most players live in the suburbs near the team’s offices and practice facility, about a 20 minute drive from the Metrodome without heavy traffic or tough conditions, and they still had to make it to the downtown hotel where they stay the night before games.
We will keep you posted as details develop
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