Games affected by snowstorm

Updated: December 20, 2009, 11:00 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Bears usually hibernate in winter.

The Chicago Bears, however, faced a number of challenges to be in Baltimore by Sunday afternoon for a game against the Ravens.

The Bears, whose flight was canceled Friday night, landed in Baltimore around 10:45 ET on Saturday.

They landed in a city that was due to receive as much as two feet of snow from a major winter storm affecting much of the eastern seaboard.

The Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles both moved back the start time of their Sunday home games from 1 p.m. ET to 4:15 p.m. ET, in order to give their cities time to deal with snow removal.

About 700 workers were on hand at M&T Bank Stadium on Friday night to begin snow removal operations for Sunday's game, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Eagles are hosting the San Francisco 49ers, who arrived in Philadelphia Friday night.

The storm, a classic Nor'easter moving up the Atlantic coast, was expected to dump a foot of snow or more from the mid-Atlantic states to New England through early Sunday morning. It pushed back or postponed college sports events and complicated travel plans for teams and fans alike.

The Ravens, acting on the city of Baltimore's suggestion, made the decision Friday afternoon to move back the start time of their game. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley declared a state of emergency.

"We won't know until later [Saturday] when we will get out," Bears spokesman Scott Hagel said earlier Saturday, according to the Tribune. "They have plans and meetings later this morning to see what the Maryland situation looks like. We're trying to find whatever window we can to get out."

According to the Tribune, the Bears' charter flight was not scheduled to leave Chicago until 11:30 p.m. ET on Friday. The team sat on the plane for two hours before the flight was canceled.

The Atlanta Falcons -- who are scheduled to play the New York Jets at 1 p.m. ET Sunday at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. -- arrived in Newark Saturday evening.

Falcons director of new media Daniel Levak posted on his Twitter page: "On the ground in Newark. Pretty smooth landing. Visibility limited ... lots of blowing snow. About to get onto buses."

Meanwhile, the New England Patriots, expecting a 1 p.m. ET start against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium, were expected to fly to their destination Saturday afternoon. Despite its reputation for heavy snowfall, no snow was forecast for Buffalo until Sunday night.

The NCAA Division III championship football game in Salem, Va., between Mount Union and Wisconsin-Whitewater was pushed back to 4 p.m. ET Saturday from its scheduled start time of 11 a.m. ET.

With Washington, D.C., also hit by the blizzard, American University postponed its men's basketball game against UMBC, which was scheduled for 2 p.m. ET Saturday. A makeup date was not immediately announced.

George Washington's women's game against Mount St. Mary's also was postponed, but hadn't been rescheduled yet.

Virginia's men's basketball home game against UNC-Wilmington was put off until later in the season, even though the Seahawks were already in Charlottesville. Athletic director Craig Littlepage said the school didn't want to make fans come out in heavy snow and on slick roads. The university's aquatic and fitness center has been opened as a Red Cross emergency shelter for stranded travelers.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.