The Philadelphia Eagles got snowed out and still clinched a spot in the National Football League playoffs. The Minnesota Vikings had a game postponed or moved for the third straight week.
The Eagles-Vikings game originally scheduled for last night was delayed until tomorrow night because of the East Coast blizzard. The storm had dumped more than a half-foot of snow by last night in Philadelphia, according to the Weather Channel.
“I think the number one issue, absolutely, all along, was public safety and the safety of fans, workers, vendors, suppliers, really everybody,” Eagles Chief Operating Officer Don Smolenski said. “Trying to have people come down in the conditions that are out there now, white-out conditions, that just wasn’t safe.”
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter declared a state of emergency in the city, where heavy snow and high wind is expected through this morning. The game was rescheduled for 8 p.m. tomorrow.
“This will allow sufficient time to ensure that roads, parking lots and the stadium are fully cleared,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a league statement.
Two weeks ago, the Vikings’ home game against the New York Giants was delayed one day and then moved to Detroit after snow collapsed the inflatable roof of the Metrodome in Minneapolis. Last week, the Vikings hosted the Chicago Bears at the University of Minnesota’s stadium because Metrodome repairs weren’t complete.
“There aren’t very many, if any, that have experienced what we’ve experienced, or at the level that we’ve experienced it,” Vikings interim head coach Leslie Frazier said in comments e-mailed by the team.
Eagles Clinch Spot
The Eagles clinched a playoff spot when the New York Giants lost at Green Bay. That handed the Eagles (10-4) the National Football Conference East Division title.
Eagles coach Andy Reid said he supported the league’s decision to postpone the game and dismissed concerns the delay will leave Philadelphia with too little time to prepare for a Jan. 2 home contest against Dallas.
“I don’t think it’s a problem,” Reid said. “I think we’ll be alright. We’ve had Monday games, Sunday night games, we had a Thursday game, so we’ve been through a lot of this already, and that will help us. We’ll be fine.”
The two-day delay could give Vikings quarterback Brett Favre a better chance of playing against the Eagles. Favre was listed yesterday as doubtful for the game because of a concussion he suffered against the Bears.
“Just add this to the list for the 2010 season,” Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said. “It’s important to be a professional and be ready to play on Tuesday night.”