A lightning storm delays the long-anticipated start of the NFL season in Denver

DENVER – We waited for seven months for the NFL to return ... so what's another hour?

The weather in Denver was beautiful all day Thursday. Not a cloud in the sky, with temperatures in the 90s. And then when the Ravens and Broncos got ready to kick off the season, a weather system came through Denver. A severe lightning storm forced the delay of the long-awaited season opener. The kickoff was moved back about a half hour, then moved back again indefinitely as the storm was slow to pass.

Kickoff finally came at about 7:14 p.m. Mountain time, a little less than 45 minutes after the scheduled kickoff.

Ray Lewis probably thinks this was a conspiracy against the Ravens.

The NFL's last meaningful game, the Super Bowl in New Orleans, was delayed because of a power outage (which Lewis thinks was done to throw off the Ravens). Like with the Super Bowl, it made for an awkward empty space for the television network (this time NBC) to fill.

Fans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High were told on the stadium video board to take cover in a sheltered area if they felt the need.

At the scheduled kickoff time the weather in Baltimore, where the game was supposed to take place until the Orioles wouldn't budge on changing their home game Thursday, was 80 degrees and partly cloudy.

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