Brett Favre has to love this snowstorm. It gave his ailing shoulder another day to heal. At least.
The Giants-Vikings game was moved from Sunday afternoon to Monday night because Minnesota had at least 15 inches of snow and wind gusting over 30 mph and the New York team was waiting it out in Kansas City after its flight was diverted. Since then, the Metrodome roof collapsed overnight from the weight of the heavy snow.
The NFL confirmed Saturday night that the game would be played at 7 p.m. CT Monday and be aired by Fox in the teams' local television markets.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Saturday night that the recommendation to postpone the game came not from the NFL, but the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission. The MSFC contacted the Vikings about safety issues concerning seven employees who are tasked with removing the accumulation of snow from the Metrodome's bubble roof. The Vikings then contacted the league.
Steve Maki, an official representing the MSFC, said clearing the roof was an undertaking too large and dangerous to be handled overnight. Maki said the employees were working under "God awful" conditions and needed more time to remove all the snow.
However, now that the roof has collapsed, Metrodome official Bill Lester said Sunday morning that the stadium is unlikely to be ready in time for kickoff Monday night.
The delay gives Favre, the Vikings' 41-year-old quarterback, another day to rest his sprained throwing shoulder. Favre is aiming to make his NFL-record 298th consecutive start, but he has barely practiced all week. He's listed as questionable for the game, one week after being hit hard and slammed to the turf on his first pass against the Buffalo Bills.
Favre built his reputation in the cold and snow in Green Bay, winning a playoff game during his last season with the Packers in 2007 with flakes falling all over Lambeau Field.
As for the Giants? They must really be tired of these trips to Minnesota by now.
The Vikings and Giants will play each other for the ninth time in the last 10 regular seasons, a scheduling quirk that has slated seven of those meetings -- this year would be three in a row -- for Minnesota.
With more than a foot of blowing snow falling in the Twin Cities area throughout Saturday, the Giants' charter flight was diverted to Kansas City instead. After hanging out in the terminal for a bit, the team settled in to spend the night in the city, with an initial plan to fly to Minnesota at 8 a.m. CT Sunday and make it to the stadium in time for the regularly scheduled noon kickoff.
But the NFL made the announcement later Saturday that the game time was being moved.
Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon said on Twitter that the team "monitored weather all week" and moved up its departure time by 3½ hours Saturday. That didn't prove to be enough of a head start to make it to Minneapolis before the airport shut down all runways.
Last season, an approaching snowstorm in Baltimore prompted a Sunday game between the Ravens and Chicago Bears to be bumped back three hours, but such a switch in this television-driven league is rare.
The Vikings weren't exactly enjoying a hassle-free weekend, either, simply because they were at home. Most players live in the suburbs near the team's offices and practice facility, about a 20-minute drive from the Metrodome without heavy traffic or tough conditions, and they still had to make it to the downtown hotel where they stay the night before games.
Left tackle Bryant McKinnie announced on Twitter shortly after 6 p.m. local time his plan to be cautious: "Heading 2 the hotel, giving myself a 2 hour window 2 make it n this weather."
McKinnie checked in with an update a little later: "I made it 2 the hotel safely, it took us about 45 min, when its usually about 20 to 25! All good though."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.