Frazier, Vikings scramble to make it work

The Vikings were left with no choice but to call an audible Sunday when their game was moved from Minneapolis to Detroit and delayed a day. Interim head coach Leslie Frazier said they handled the adjustment well.

The Vikings were trying to make the best of a bad situation as they left the aftermath of a snowstorm in the Twin Cities to fly right back into the storm in Detroit Sunday afternoon.

A wild weekend of weather left the Vikings without a home to play their game, as the roof of the Metrodome collapsed and dumped snow, water and ice on Mall of America Field, forcing the NFL to reschedule their Sunday game against the New York Giants for Monday night and move it to Ford Field in Detroit.

"You have had a chance to witness our fans and what happens at Mall of America Field, so that is a tremendous home-field advantage. We would have loved to play this game at home, no question about it," interim head coach Leslie Frazier said shortly before the team left for Detroit. "But we have to go and get done what we anticipated getting done at home, regardless of the fact that we have to go to Detroit to get it done. Our goal is to get a win. We would have loved to have played in front of our fans, but hopefully some of our fans will be able to travel to Detroit, just because of the distance, and if that is the case we will get some semblance of what we would have gotten if we had actually played at home."

The Vikings were left to scramble on Sunday morning, hours after the Teflon-coated roof of the dome sunk to its resting spot on the upper-deck seats. The Vikings and Giants, along with the NFL, held a teleconference Sunday morning to figure out how to proceed, and moving the game to Detroit was deemed the best option. Fans holding original tickets to the game will receive refunds or get priority seating in Detroit if they decide to make the trip, and free tickets are being distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis in Detroit Monday morning.

Meanwhile, Frazier was left to try to patch together some semblance of a routine. He had a walkthrough practice with players early Sunday afternoon at the team's Winter Park practice facility while the operations staffs of the Vikings, Giants, Detroit Lions and NFL worked to pull off the relocation of a game that was supposed to be held 30 hours earlier in another city and broadcast nationally. It will still be shown on FOX stations in New York and Albany in New York and Minneapolis, Mankato, Rochester and Duluth in Minnesota.

"We do appreciate the efforts by the NFL, the Vikings organization and the New York Giants, all that were involved in the process of getting this game scheduled in Detroit," Frazier said. "It was certainly a team effort that only facilitates our ability to go ahead and continue to focus on the game and our preparation. Just a great effort by a lot of people involved and our guys are looking forward to playing."

Players spent Saturday night in the team hotel in downtown Minneapolis in anticipation of a game sometime Sunday. They returned to Winter Park for the walkthrough, went home to pack and left Sunday afternoon for Detroit, flying back into the same storm that caused so much damage to their plans.

"It seems that they have handled it pretty well," Frazier said. ".. Based on what I saw (Sunday) in our walk-through, it seems like we are really focused on what we have to get done."

Things were so hectic for Frazier that he hadn't even seen photos of the destruction to the Metrodome. Once the audible in plans was complete, the coaching staff and players were left to scramble.

"I don't think it really hit them until we were sitting down talking (Sunday) at noon what the plan was and the fact that everything was officially done, that we were going to be going to Detroit," Frazier said. "I think that is when it began to set in, that we were not playing at home for sure, and when we started talking about going home to pick up their clothes and doing the things they had to do to travel, I think that is when it hit. Our guys are resilient. They are professionals. This is what we do for a living. They will adjust. We talk all of the time about being able to handle adversity and they will handle this."


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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