Ravens vs. Broncos Season Opener Delayed 'Indefinitely' Due to Lightning
Apparently, Mother Nature wasn't told Thursday was the kickoff to the 2013 NFL season.
A severe lightning storm in the Denver area placed the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos' season opener in an indefinite delay:
America wanted football, it got weather issues. Indefinite delay for Ravens-Broncos.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 6, 2013
The game was delayed 34 minutes before beginning. ESPN Stats & Info's team confirmed that the delay was the exact length as Baltimore suffered in its Super Bowl win over the San Francisco 49ers:
The 34-minute weather delay in the Ravens-Broncos game is the same length of the delay in last season's Super Bowl— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 6, 2013
NFL policy mandates that players and coaches be removed from the field in the event of a lightning storm. The Broncos and Ravens players had yet to come out to the field, so they stayed in the locker-room while the situation played out.
As Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk reported, there was an initial delay that was only supposed to last 15 minutes.
However, additional lightning strikes in the area and cloudy weather kept the Broncos and Ravens huddled into their locker room. The situation remains fluid, with the indefinite delay possibly being changed at any moment.
The stadium scoreboard at Sports Authority Field in Denver called for fans to get to safety in the concourse should they choose, and that the game start had been pushed back. Here is what it read, courtesy of Philly.com:
"Skyview Weather Service has informed us of severe lightning activity in the Denver area. If you feel the need, take cover in a sheltered area. If necessary, public address announcements will be made with further instructions."
Rain remains heavy in the area, despite Denver having just a 20-percent chance on the forecast.
The Ravens aren't strangers to delays. Their Super Bowl win over the San Francisco 49ers was famously pushed back by about a half-hour after lights at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome went out following halftime. Baltimore survived the delay to defeat San Francisco 34-31.
This delay could be particularly frustrating for fans in the Baltimore area, however. The Super Bowl champions have traditionally hosted the season-opening Thursday night game, but the Ravens were unable to due so because of scheduling conflicts with the Baltimore Orioles.
Will Brinson of CBS Sports noted that the weather was close to perfect for football at Camden Yards, the Orioles’ home stadium:
With no timetable for players and coaches to return, the Orioles-Ravens fiasco may again find itself in the papers. For now, fans, coaches and players wait.
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