Punishing winter storm sacks Vikings Eagles game - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Punishing winter storm sacks Vikings Eagles game

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Work crews remove barriers at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles, Dec. 26, 2010. The Eagles game scheduled for Sunday evening against the Minnesota Vikings was postponed until Tuesday due to wintry weather. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) Work crews remove barriers at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles, Dec. 26, 2010. The Eagles game scheduled for Sunday evening against the Minnesota Vikings was postponed until Tuesday due to wintry weather. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

A fierce winter storm hit Sunday's Vikings-Eagles game like a blitzing linebacker, forcing a postponement in Philadelphia that displeased Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, and disrupted travel plans elsewhere in sports.

But, overwhelmingly, the games went on.

The New York Jets were forced to spend the night in Chicago, where they could mull their 38-34 loss to the Bears. The New England Patriots routed the Bills 34-3 in Buffalo, but victory came at a cost. They were unable to travel home immediately afterward.

The New York Giants said there was a strong possibility they would have to stay in Wisconsin following their game with the Green Bay Packers.

In cold and windy Cleveland, a jacket worn by Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed caught fire when he ventured too close to a sideline heater. Temperature at kickoff was 26 degrees with the wind chill at 13.

Reed had two interceptions in Baltimore's playoff-clinching victory. He had a good laugh afterward, saying someone yelled that he was on fire. The safety did the sensible thing with his jacket.

"I just took it off," he said.

The NFL shifted the Vikings-Eagles game from Sunday night to Tuesday night because of the storm that could dump more than a foot of snow on Philadelphia. The game — the first in the NFL on a Tuesday since 1946 — will be played at 8 p.m. EST, and televised nationally by NBC.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter declared a snow emergency in the afternoon and urged all Philadelphians to "please be careful. Please be safe."

"We're OK with it," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "We're organized and prepared for this, and we completely support what the league did from a safety standpoint for everybody."

Added quarterback Michael Vick: "Just a few more days to get ready!"

Pennsylvania's governor, however, didn't agree with the decision — "not at all."

"This is football; football's played in bad weather," Rendell told KYW-TV. "I think the fans would have gotten there, the subways work and the major arteries are still open and other fans would have stayed home. But you play football regardless of the weather."

The governor, who does football commentaries after Eagles games, was asked what Vince Lombardi would say about the postponement.

"He'd be mocking us," he said.

The Northeast caught the brunt of the storm. Forecasters issued a blizzard warning for New York City for Sunday and Monday. A blizzard warning was also in effect for Rhode Island and most of eastern Massachusetts including Boston, with forecasters predicting 15 to 20 inches of snow.

While the rest of the NFL went on as scheduled apart from the game in Philadelphia, there was still some grumbling.

The Jaguars played in uncharacteristic cold in Jacksonville, losing 20-17 in overtime against Washington. It was about 38 degrees during play, the coldest home game in team history.

"When the wind picked up, it was rough," Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis said. "A lot of us have played in colder. We knew coming in, before Saturday, that this game was going to be cold."

Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman used to play in Chicago and knows of biting weather.

"It wasn't ideal by any means, but it was average," he said. "Cold's cold, I don't know if you get used to it or not."

The San Diego Chargers ended up playing their coldest game in nearly three years, buffeted by wind and snow in Cincinnati. It was 29 degrees with a wind chill of 17 at the kickoff. Several Chargers came out in blue shorts and sleeveless shirts for pregame warmups.

The Patriots, seeking shelter from the storm, were forced to bus to Rochester, about an hour east of Orchard Park, N.Y. There were no hotel rooms available in the Buffalo area because of the World Junior Hockey Championship tournament in the city.

In the American Hockey League, Sunday night's game in Massachusetts between the between the Portland Pirates and the Worcester Sharks was postponed until Tuesday night. Also to be rescheduled is Monday night's Springfield-Manchester game in New Hampshire.

In the NBA Development League, Springfield's game at Maine on Sunday night was postponed. The start of a women's basketball tournament at Fordham in New York was delayed a day until Wednesday.

And with the Eagles-Vikings game reset for Tuesday, an ice show scheduled that day at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia was called off.


Contributing to this report were AP Sports Writers Rob Maaddi and Dan Gelston in Philadelphia; Andy Seligman in Chicago; Chris Jenkins in Green Bay, Wis.; John Wawrow in Buffalo, N.Y.; Tom Withers in Cleveland; Mark Long in Jacksonville, Fla.; and Joe Kay in Cincinnati.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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