Vikings reflect on a season of stress

The Vikings were left to sit in Philadelphia for a couple days with little to do after the NFL postponed their game until Tuesday night. Chalk it up as just another frustrating entry in a Vikings season full of them, as far as the players are concerned.

The Vikings' season gets stranger by the week, and now the players have a couple of extra days stuck in a hotel in Philadelphia to think about it, thanks to the NFL rescheduling the Vikings-Eagles game from Sunday night to Tuesday night in the interest of "fan safety."

"Merry Christmas. Happy Kwanzaa. Happy Hanukah," Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said when asked for his reaction to the delayed game.

Chalk it up to another weird event from the Vikings' season on the stink.

"This is the way the season's been so far, the ups and downs, in and outs, whatever you want to call it, lefts and rights," Shiancoe said. "This is a season is a season to remember, I know that. No other season can compare to this."

No doubt about that. Brett Favre provided plenty of the drama in August when he started indicating to players and staff that he might not return … and then did after Jared Allen, Steve Hutchinson and Ryan Longwell flew to Mississippi to convince him to play. There was preseason hip surgery for Sidney Rice, which in part led to the trade for Randy Moss, who lasted only four games before he was released by then-head coach Brad Childress, who failed to inform the front office and ownership before telling players of the move. That, in turn, played a role in Childress' firing. And then, of course, was the collapse of the Metrodome roof, which led to three "home" games being played at three different sites, including Detroit.

After all the stress and strangeness of the season, Shiancoe had one idea how he might recover at the conclusion next week.

"I think I'm going to fly to Mars, man, and stay there for a little bit," Shiancoe said. "I'm going to fly to Mars. That's exactly what I'm going to do. I think it takes a couple months to get there, though, so I may have to skip camp."

Like most players, Jared Allen saw this as just another bump in a potholed filled road to the end of the 2010 season.

"What else can you say? Just add this to the list for the 2010 season," Allen said in a collection of player quotes released by the team. "But you know what? We have to remain together as a team and keep a positive mind frame. It's important to be a professional and be ready to play on Tuesday night."

Shiancoe said the players weren't consulted with before the NFL made its decision to postpone the game, and now players are stuck in Philadelphia for more than three days on a trip they planned on taking slightly more than 24 hours.

"Luckily I brought a change of drawers up here, a change of clothes. I prepared to stay here and play (Sunday) night. We have to adjust (on) the run. That's what Coach (Leslie) Frazier preaches. Of course it's going to be hard on the players, being out of town that long," Shiancoe said. "You're not really able to get your mind right. … It's just a weird predicament for us. I've never seen a game cancelled because of snow. I understand fan safety. We had a game in Minnesota. It wasn't cancelled because of (fan) safety at all and there was way more snow than this."

Players were given Sunday off and had free movies and room service. They will conduct a walkthrough Monday at the Eagles facility, followed by meetings, play the game Tuesday night and have Wednesday off before preparing for another compressed week with the season finale Sunday in Detroit.

"We may play that one at TCF," Shiancoe joked, referring to last Monday's game being moved to the University of Minnesota's stadium. "I've never seen a season like this. I've never been part of a season that's been so bizarre. I've never been part of such a bizarre season and such an eventfully packed season like this. I've never part of craziness. It's going to be (one) to remember."

Or one to forget, depending on a person's perspective.

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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