Vikings have to play in arch-rivals' home

Snow covers the Minnesota Vikings football field after 17 inches of snowfall cause a tear in the...

Snow covers the Minnesota Vikings football field after 17 inches of snowfall cause a tear in the teflon roof of the Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis. (REUTERS/Eric Miller)

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:18 AM ET

TORONTO - Well, the roof caved in on the Minnesota Vikings Sunday.

A vicious snow storm damaged the Metrodome, forcing the Vikings to cancel their game there against the New York Giants. Worse, they’re going to end up having to play the “home” game at Ford Field, home of their arch-rival Lions.

Detroit fans will be given access to free tickets which are being made available at the box office Monday at 8 a.m. All of which means the Vikings are likely to get dumped on by more than the snow.

Original ticketholders will get refunds and preferential seating at the 50-yard line. But driving almost 1,000 km in the wake of the worst snowstorm to hit Minneapolis since 1991 isn’t going to be on most fans’ agendas. That should play into the Giants’ hands as they won’t have to deal with the partisan Vikings crowd and the Metrodome noise.

Part of the roof collapsed under the weight of 43 cm of snow; much like the Vikings’ season collapsed under the weight of controversy. It sums up a season in which their Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, their coach got fired, players couldn’t stay healthy and a Super Bowl season turned into a super dud.

When Metrodome officials told the NFL the roof had been damaged making it impossible to play, the Vikings tried to move the game to the University of Minnesota’s stadium, but officials there said it would take at least a week to get it back into condition to play. It had been shut down for the winter. Detroit seemed the next best option because it is the closest domed stadium

Repairs to three panels in the inflatable Metrodome roof, which comprises 10 acres of Teflon-coated Fiberglas, will take “several days,” said Bill Lester, executive director of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which owns the Metrodome. No one was injured in the 5 a.m. incident. At least no one other than the Vikings’ chances of a happy ending.

RUSHED & CRUSHED

Peyton Hillis became the ninth player in Browns’ history to run for 1,000 yards Sunday.

But he also had a couple fumbles and turnovers cost him and the Browns as Buffalo won 13-6.

Entering Sunday with 962 yards rushing, Hillis reached the milestone with an eight-yard gain on his fourth carry.

Jamal Lewis, in 2008, was the last Browns player to hit 1,000 but the Browns’ offence was so inept it didn’t cross midfield in the second half. Jack Delhomme lost a fumble that led to a Rian Lindell field goal. He still had a chance to win but Leodis McKelvin intercepted his pass with under four minutes to play and Buffalo was able to run out the clock.

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to David Nelson and Lindell hit two 19-yard field goals.

Quick hits

Chiefs have signed Jamaal Charles to a five-year contract with $13-million US guaranteed ... Bucs’ tackle Gerald McCoy sustained a season-ending torn right biceps in Sunday’s win ... Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew has six straight 100-yard rushing games, one shy of the NFL record ... Redskins’ Ryan Torain’s 121 first-quarter yards were the most in the NFL since Marshall Faulk in 2001 ... Despite being listed as doubtful on the injury report, Percy Harvin will travel to Detroit for Monday night’s rescheduled game ... Denver cornerback Perrish Cox travelled to Phoenix with his teammates but didn’t start following his arrest last week for sexual assault.


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