“Bad weather, but it’s still football,” Harvin said. “You’ve got to play it the same way, and we’ve got to approach it the same way. Unfortunately, it will be a little colder. It will be like the old days. A lot of running the ball and things like that.”
Marshall shared memories this week of hard and painful spills on the cold, hard ground at Metropolitan Stadium. “But that was part of the game,” he said. “It was part of what we had to go through to be winners.”
The Vikings are honoring their 50 greatest players this weekend as part of their 50th anniversary celebration as a franchise, so the return to their roots as an outdoor team, though unexpected, is fitting.
“My fingertips kind of tingle in this kind of weather,” Eller said. “That’s a memento from the old days at the Met.”
The forecast is calling for a temperature in the low teens with the possibility of a few inches of snow. Fans, many of whom embraced the return of outdoor baseball this season when the Twins moved to Target Field and packed the place every game, are fired up about the novelty of the event.
Many longtime season-ticket holders were upset, though, by the general admission seating plan for the game. The Vikings insisted it was the best they could do in a few days with the challenge of moving from a 64,000-seat venue to one that typically holds 50,000.
One fan, Sandy Barin, said he’s decided to stay home and watch on TV.
“There’s no guarantee that if my wife and I get up to go to the bathroom or get a hot dog that we’re going to get our seats back,” Barin said. “I will continue to support the Vikings, but the front office really let the fans down.”
Vikings chief marketing officer Steve LaCroix said the team is hoping “common sense” and “Minnesota nice” prevail when the gates open and fans start flocking to the prime seats.
“It’s going to be a great atmosphere and just a really fun night,” LaCroix said. “We feel very confident that everyone will be able to get in the building on game night, so come down if you have a ticket.”
The Bears, who have a first-round bye in the playoffs in their sights, are hoping to keep the fans quiet.
“It’s not like the Minnesota Vikings are going to be wearing ice skates, and we have on cleats,” Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris said. “We’re both going to have to try to find a way to play through it.”
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