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Blizzard forces postponement of Vikes-Eagles game to Tuesday

Are you ready for some Tuesday Night Football?

The NFL moved the Minnesota Vikings-Philadelphia Eagles game from Sunday night to Tuesday night because of an expected blizzard that could dump more than a foot of snow on eastern Pennsylvania.

The game -- the first for the NFL on a Tuesday since 1946 -- will be played at 8 p.m. ET, and nationally televised by NBC.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter declared a snow emergency as of 2 p.m. ET Sunday.

"We are urging all Philadelphians, please be careful, please be safe," Nutter told reporters in a news conference at City Hall on Sunday morning.

The decision to postpone the game came shortly after noon -- before there was any snow accumulation in Philadelphia.

In announcing the postponement, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said: "Due to public safety concerns in light of today's snow emergency in Philadelphia, tonight's Vikings-Eagles game has been postponed. Because of the uncertainty of the extent of tonight's storm and its aftermath, the game will be played on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. This will allow sufficient time to ensure that roads, parking lots and the stadium are fully cleared. The National Weather Service states that a winter storm warning in Philadelphia remains in effect until 1 pm on Monday."

The postponement didn't sit well with Pennslyvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who told KYW-TV he did "not at all" agree with the decision.

"This is football; football's played in bad weather," Rendell said. "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, also said the decision would be a "serious handicap" for the Eagles and was unfair to the team.

"I, for one, was looking forward to sitting in the stands throughout the snow and seeing an old-time football game," Rendell said.

Asked what Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi would say about the league's decision, Rendell said "he'd be mocking us."

Eagles coach Andy Reid agreed with the league's decision.

"We're OK with it," he said. "We're organized and prepared for this, and we completely support what the league did from a safety standpoint for everybody. We got the guys out of the hotel and home, and they'll come back for a walkthrough tomorrow and then to the hotel, and it will be just like a Saturday night before a Sunday game, just a normal Saturday night-Sunday schedule."

The Vikings already have seen two home games affected by the weather this season. Their game against the New York Giants on Dec. 12 was postponed one day after Minneapolis received 15 inches of snow. The game was then moved to Detroit when the Metrodome roof collapsed.

The Vikings' game against the Chicago Bears the following week was played at the University of Minnesota's outdoor stadium because of the damaged roof.

"Hey, at least it's another couple of days to heal," said Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who missed the Bears game because of a knee injury. "We just have to handle this like we have everything else that has gone on this season. Coach (Leslie) Frazier told us to continue to stick together, to stay focused, and that's what we'll do. This is just another bump in the road."

Added Vikings defensive end Jared Allen: "What else can you say? Just add this to the list for the 2010 season. But you know what? We have to remain together as a team and keep a positive mindframe. It's important to be a professional and be ready to play on Tuesday night."

Minnesota (5-9) is out of playoff contention, but Philadelphia (10-4) can clinch the NFC East with a win or if the Giants lose at Green Bay on Sunday afternoon.

The Vikings decided to stay in Philadelphia until Tuesday rather than fly back to Minnesota on Sunday.

"We have every reason, because of the season, to say, 'This is the last straw and I'm checking out,'" Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier said. "But this is the NFL and you can't do that. You have to show up ready to play Tuesday night, and that's what we're trying to get the young guys and everybody to understand."

NBC will broadcast the regular "Football Night in America" from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET, followed by a "Minute to Win It" repeat from 8:30 to 10 p.m. and then a "Law and Order" repeat until 11 p.m.

The Eagles went to their practice facility for workouts and film study and then went home. They'll now have just four days off before playing the Dallas Cowboys (5-10) next Sunday in a game that could determine whether or not Philadelphia receives a first-round playoff bye.

"I don't think it's a problem," Reid said of the short preparation time. "I think we'll be all right. 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."

Many players wished the game wasn't moved. Some of the Eagles made their feelings known via Twitter.

"It's only snow!!!! Let us play... It must b alot of fun... I'm ready let's get it on!!" wide receiver DeSean Jackson wrote.

The game originally was supposed to be played at 1 p.m., but was switched because of the flex scheduling.

"Thank you flex-scheduling....," guard Todd Herremans wrote.

Quarterback Michael Vick looked at the positive side.

"Just a few more days to get ready !" he wrote.

This will be the 23rd NFL game ever played on a Tuesday. The New York Giants beat the Boston Yanks 17-0 on Oct. 1, 1946 in the last one.

There won't be any conflicts with the Flyers or 76ers because both teams are on the road. However, a Disney on Ice show Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center was canceled.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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