When you're young, a snow day means an unexpected and welcome day off. For the Eagles, though, Sunday's snow day, and their unexpected day off, meant frustration as they watched their competition instead of taking their push for better playoff position into their own hands.
"This sucks man," running back LeSean McCoy wrote on his Twitter account shortly after the NFL moved Sunday's Eagles-Vikings game to Tuesday, citing concerns over the safety of fans who would have been traveling to and from the game.
"GAMEDAY! This will be one of those games you dream about playing in as a kid. Straight up blizzard conditions," wrote defensive tackle Trevor Laws before the decision was made. A few hours later, he returned to say, "Well we were ready to go."
Head coach Andy Reid also said his team will be ready Tuesday, and again five days later against Dallas as they face an unexpected short week of preparation. The Eagles-Vikings game will be the NFL's first Tuesday game since Oct. 1, 1946, when the New York Giants played the Boston Yanks, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"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," Reid told a pool reporter.
Reid, who expressed support for the NFL's decision, sent his team home Sunday from the hotel where it stays before home games. Monday will be treated like a pregame Saturday, including a morning walk-through and a return to the hotel.
The Cowboys, whom the Eagles will face Sunday in a game that could have playoff-seeding implications, played Saturday night and will have an extra day of rest.
The Eagles clinched the NFC East Sunday when the New York Giants lost, but need to win their last two games to have a shot at the second seed in the conference and a first-round bye.
Tuesday's game will be televised nationally on NBC, which had planned to show the Sunday night contest. The Eagles will not offer refunds, saying fans often adjust to changes in time in football and other sports.
For the Vikings, the NFL's decision gave two injured stars a chance to rest but added another twist to a season already full of strange events.
Running back Adrian Peterson, the NFL's eighth-leading rusher heading into play this week, was nursing a bruised thigh.
"At least it's another couple of days to heal," Peterson said in comments released by the team. "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."
Quarterback Brett Favre, trying to return from a concussion, also will get more rest, though NBC reported that he had said, "The best thing is for me not to play" after being knocked unconscious last week.
The Vikings have endured a season marked by disappointment, controversy, and logistical oddities.
"We have every reason, because of the season, to say, 'This is the last straw, and I'm checking out.' But this is the NFL, and you can't do that," kicker Ryan Longwell said. "You have to show up ready to play Tuesday night."
The Vikings' Dec. 12 game against the Giants was moved to Dec. 13 and shipped to Detroit after the Metrodome roof collapsed under snow. Their game last Monday was played in frigid conditions at the University of Minnesota's outdoor field because the Metrodome was still unplayable.
"What else can you say? Just add this to the list for the 2010 season," defensive end Jared Allen said.
The Vikings will go through a Monday walk-through at the Eagles' indoor facility. Reid and Frazier spoke about the arrangement.
The NFL and the Eagles cited public safety and the snow emergency in Philadelphia for the league's decision to move Sunday's game. The league said uncertainty over the length of the storm, and a winter storm warning in place until 1 p.m. Monday, made Tuesday a better option than Monday.
Moving the game to Tuesday also avoids a conflict with the Monday night game on ESPN. NBC and the NFL had chosen to put the Eagles-Vikings into the spotlight, moving it from its 1 p.m. kickoff to 8:20 - unknowingly toward when the snow would be heavier.
Responding to a question from The Inquirer about whether television contracts were a factor in the decision to play Tuesday and not Monday, NFL spokesman Michael Signora wrote: "The primary considerations were public safety and the uncertainty of whether the storm would enable us to play Monday. Tuesday night was much more certain."
While the NFL made the ultimate call, Eagles chief operating officer Don Smolenski backed the choice, citing concerns about fans driving through the storm to the game and perhaps afterward.
"The blizzard conditions, the whiteouts, bitter-cold temperatures, all of that weighed into whether or not it would be safe for people to be out on the roads," Smolenski said.
The Eagles hosted games after big snowfalls last season and in 2004, but Smolenski said those storms had stopped the night before the games, before fans were due to arrive.
After Tuesday's game, Reid said, he'll give his players off Wednesday and get back to work Thursday.