Visanthe Shiancoe on postponement: 'It's something that baffles me'
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PHILADELPHIA -- Faced with media criticism for their reaction to the East Coast snowstorm, NFL officials spent time on Sunday afternoon defending their decision to move the Minnesota Vikings-Philadelphia Eagles game to Tuesday night.
Count Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe among those who still don't understand.
"The roads are bad for East Coast standards," Shiancoe said in a conference call with Twin Cities reporters.
"If this was in the Midwest, there would be no way that this would be delayed. No way it would be delayed in the Midwest. No way. Nooo way. It is kind of weird to me. It's weird to me that this game has been cancelled. It's kind of like it's something that baffles me. But I'm not here to make these decisions on when games are played."
The Vikings remained in downtown Philadelphia on Sunday night as snow continued to fall, with projected accumulation of up to a foot. A snow emergency was declared in the city, and a winter storm watch was to continue until 1 p.m. Monday.
League spokesman Greg Aiello -- who said in a statement early Sunday afternoon that the postponement was made for "public safety concerns -- cited media accounts of storm fallout on his personal Twitter account throughout the day to back the NFL's decision.
"News reports say there have been 100 accidents so far on Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike," Aiello wrote around 6 p.m. Eastern. "Lots of Iggles fans travel from (New Jersey)."
However, Shiancoe joined the chorus questioning the notion that Tuesday -- rather than Monday -- was selected to allow the roads and stadium to be cleared of snow, rather than to avoid putting NBC's national telecast in competition with ESPN's coverage of the Saints-Falcons game.
Shiancoe pointed out the Vikings played Chicago on Monday despite another snowstorm that brought traffic in the Twin Cities to a crawl.
"I've never seen a game cancelled because of snow," Shiancoe said. "I've never seen that. I understand fan safety. I do understand that. But we had a game in Minnesota. It wasn't cancelled because of (fan) safety at all, and it was way worse than this."
Shortly after speaking with reporters, Shiancoe tweeted a photo to support his position.
Many Vikings spent the afternoon shopping for extra clothes to get through an overnight trip that has turned into a four-day, three-night event. The team offered players free movies and room service at their luxury hotel, Shiancoe said, and plans were in place to hold a walkthrough at the Eagles' facility in addition to meetings on Monday.
The latest weather-related snafu comes one week before the Vikings' finale next Sunday at Detroit -- "We may play that one at TCF," Shiancoe cracked -- which finally will bring an end to what's been a wild and wildly disappointing season.
Asked how he's going to recover, Shiancoe said, "I think I'm going to fly to Mars, man, and stay there for a little bit. I'm going to fly to Mars. That's what I'm going to do. I think it'll take a couple months to get there, though, so I may have to skip camp."