A heavy snowstorm and blizzard-like conditions in Minneapolis have prompted the NFL to reschedule the Sunday game between the Giants and Vikings for Monday night.
The weather conditions in Minnesota on Saturday forced the chartered plane carrying the Giants to divert to Kansas City, Mo. The Giants initially waited around the airport, but then a decision was made to have the team stay there overnight and then try to fly to Minneapolis at 8 a.m. CT Sunday, in the hope that the game could begin at the regularly scheduled 12 p.m. CT.
However, safety issues involving the removal of snow from the Metrodome's roof appeared to be the final trigger that convinced the league to delay the start of the game until 7 p.m. CT Monday. The game will be televised by Fox in the local markets of the two teams.
According to a report Saturday night by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission contacted the Vikings Saturday about what it said was unsafe conditions for its seven employees whose job was to remove the snow from the roof of the Metrodome. More than 15 inches of snow had blanketed the Minneapolis area by Saturday night, and wind gusts in excess of 30 mph had been reported.
Moving the start time back 31 hours will give injured Vikings QB Brett Favre some extra time to heal as he hopes to be able to make his NFL-record 298th consecutive start. He is listed as questionable with a sprained throwing shoulder, and he practiced very little during the week.
According to Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon, the team had moved up its flight departure time from the New York area by 3½ hours in the hope of beating the storm, but to no avail. Newsday reported that the Giants are now scheduled to fly out of Kansas City at 11 a.m. CT Sunday, weather permitting.
If both teams are able to safely make it to Mall of America Field for the scheduled Monday-night kickoff, the game will, of course, be played out of the elements in the Metrodome. However, the heavy snowstorm could hold down fan attendance.