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I agree with Vikings' postponement

  • Blog Post by: Jim Souhan
  • December 27, 2010 - 11:53 AM

Yes, I agree with the Eagles' decision to postpone their game on Sunday night.

I believe I'm alone in expressing this sentiment. I know the rest of the Twin Cities media stuck in Philadelphia with me for four days - four days! - disagrees.

I get their arguments. This is football. Football gets played in bad weather. Football fans know how to deal with bad weather. This sets a terrible precedent. The Eagles may have postponed the game because they'll have a better chance to win on a clear field on Tuesday than in slop on Sunday night, since the Eagles have more speed and better skill-position players.

While I agree with all of the above, I also walked outside on Sunday night. Star Tribune photographers Jerry Holt and Carlos Gonzalez and I walked through the blizzard to what might have been the only restaurant open in Philadelphia on Sunday night.

The wind was howling. The streets were slick. Snowplows were out, but weren't winning the battle. And I watched all day as local TV stations talked about closing bridges and terrible traffic and injury accidents.

Which leads to my ultimate point: While the postponement is an inconvenience for everyone involved, the Eagles did right by their fans.

It was their fans who would have had trouble making it to the game. I saw one estimate that the attendance might have been as low as 20,000 for a team that always sells out, that features one of the most passionate fan bases in all of sports. It is their fans who would have sat in 40-mile-an-hour winds, getting snow and ice blown in their faces. It is their fans who would have gotten stuck on the sides of roads or in traffic jams, trying to get home at midnight on Sunday.

NFL fans spend lots of money on their teams, and they are guaranteed just eight regular-season home games a year. Whether their motives were pure or diabolical, the Eagles wound up doing right by their fans, and while their decision has messed up my personal and professional schedules, I can't argue with the decision.

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The NFL really has a fascinating product, doesn't it?

I do NFL picks with Brad Lane and Tom Linnemann on Sunday Sports Talk, and I might have had my worst week of the season this week. I believe the only pick I got right (we usually pick the five or six best games) was the Packers over the Giants.

Which is why I love writing about the NFL. It is unpredictable because of random variation, and luck, and weather, and circumstance, but also because every time you think you have a team figured out, something changes.

Just when we thought Peyton Manning was having his worst season as a veteran, he produces two great, clutch performances to re-elevate his team.

Just when you thought the Jets may have turned it on, they get swamped by Jay Cutler. Who would have thought before this season started that we'd see Cutler picking apart a secondary that includes Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie?

Who saw this coming from the Bears, at all? I keep calling them frauds, and they keep proving me wrong, and now they've beaten the Eagles, Jets and Packers, and they're suddenly scoring like the Patriots West.

In a season in which no NFL team looks supreme, maybe the Bears can make a run.

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I'm thoroughly impressed with the Packers, from Mike McCarthy to Aaron Rodgers to Clay Matthews to Charles Woodson to Dom Capers.

Donald Driver has always been one of my favorite NFL players. How many receivers his size have his toughness and longevity?

What's best about this Packers team is its ability to survive injuries without whining or making excuses - or letting those injuries keep it out of contention.

We're entering the phase of the year where you'll start hearing the Vikings whine about injuries and their stadium and travel woes, but they still had enough talent on the roster to contend this year. They just didn't have what it takes.

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Despite my support of the Eagles' decision, I've gotta say, this is a lousy week to be stuck in Philly. I was going to do some fill-in work on 1500ESPN, and my daughter flew in from DC on Christmas Eve to spend a week at home, and I'm spending two days that I would have been home stuck in a downtown Philly hotel, wishing I hadn't already read everything Lee Child and just about everything Stephen Hunter has written.

(I used to be a heavy literature guy; now I like well-written, well-executed escapism.)

This would be a good time to be a movie buff, but I just don't find many movies worth a two-hour investment.

So...I'll be jumping on 1500ESPN sporadically the next two days. I have my usual weekday call-in at 2:40 p.m. with Joe and Pat, and I'll be on with Joe Anderson tonight, I believe at 7:10 p.m.

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I did it! Made it through a day without mentioning Brett Favre.

 

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