NFL Taking Plenty of Heat Over Postponement


Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell called it “a joke.” Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said he was “baffled”.  Reporters trapped in Philadelphia hotels vented their irritation by sending out sarcastic twitpics of snow-free roads.  This is just a sampling of the reaction the NFL’s decision to postpone Sunday night’s blizzard-beset Vikings-Eagles game to Tuesday has received.  There’s a lot more I could post, but this is a family blog.

The Vikings’ self-appointed spokesman on the matter has been Shiancoe.   In a conference call, Shank questioned the manhood of East Coasters whipped into a panic by a mere snowfall.  “If this was in the Midwest, there would be no way that this would be delayed,” the tight end said.  “It is kind of weird to me.  It’s weird to me that this game has been canceled. It’s kind of like it’s something that baffles me. But I’m not here to make these decisions on when games are played.”

Governor Rendell went even farther, saying, “Vince Lombardi would be spinning in his grave,” and adding, “I was looking forward to this [blizzard game]. It would have been a real experience. This is what football is all about. We’re becoming a nation of wussies.”

Images from inside the empty Lincoln Financial Field at what would’ve been game-time showed a perfectly playable surface being tended by snowplows, a few snow drifts in the upper-deck, Bob Costas sitting there sedately without a hat.  The message?  Bob Costas is more of a man than Philadelphia city officials?

Once again the Vikings found themselves on the short end of the weather stick, reduced to the role of helpless spectators.  For the third straight week, snow was a bigger story than football (maybe not a bad thing considering how badly the team has been playing).  There was the snow that collapsed the Metrodome, the snow that had to be removed from TCF Bank Stadium so the homeless team would have somewhere to play, and now the possibly needless two-day snow delay.

The downtime gave Viking punter Chris Kluwe a chance to catch up on his movie watching.  The amateur critic gave George Clooney‘s The American “8 angry Clooneys out of 10 hooker love scenes.”  Bryant McKinnie, meanwhile, hosted a massive feast in his hotel roomThen took a nap.

All the while the snow kept falling.  By storm’s end, Philadelphia had gotten a foot.  Despite the in-no-way-insignificant snowfall it quickly became clear that a game could easily have been staged Monday night.  But it was a moot point because the NFL had already decided there would be no second national Monday night game. Well, you wouldn’t want NBC and ESPN to lose money by having competing national games in the same window would you?

Of course not.  So, the Vikings and Eagles sat while Philly dusted itself off.  And now the Eagles will have to play for playoff positioning after an unfairly short week of rest.  And the Vikings…well, the Vikings will trek to Detroit for the 2nd time this season, on short rest themselves, with last place in the NFC North probably on the line.

The Eagles may have a bigger gripe than the Vikings in terms of ramifications for their season, but this is only because the Vikings have nothing left to play for.  The Vikings have by far the biggest gripe in terms of their overall fortunes.  I don’t know who they can possibly take the matter up with though.  I’m pretty sure the cosmos is indifferent to their suffering.  As are ESPN, NBC and Roger Goodell.

And the worst news of all?  They still have to play the game.

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Tags: Bob Costas Bryant Mckinnie Chris Kluwe Ed Rendell Minnesota Vikings Visanthe Shiancoe