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Ravens vs. Bears Game Suspended

Posted Nov 17, 2013

Fans have evacuated the seating bowl as rain falls and a tornado watch is in effect.

The Ravens game against the Chicago Bears has been suspended because of severe weather in the Chicago area.

Officials announced that the game was suspended at 1:36 p.m., just after the Ravens made the score 10-0 after a 52-yard field goal by Justin Tucker.

The game entered a delay as heavy rain and strong winds started to hit Soldier Field. Fans were evacuated from the seating bowl and asked to enter the concourse level where they would be safe from lightning.

Officials did say that fans were not in any immediate danger, but fans in the suite level and members of the media were also asked to move away from the windows in the press box.

Storms were expected in Chicago, with the forecast calling for winds of about 20-30 miles per hour, with gusts potentially as high as 60 miles per hour. A tornado touched down in Peoria, Illinois, which is about 150 miles west of Chicago. 

Some fans were initially stuck in the upper deck because they were unable to get out of the seating bowl due to the large crowds already on the concourse. The lower bowl is completely clear.

Both teams left the field to head into the locker room for shelter.

“It’s very relaxed in the locker room, players are just hanging out,” Ravens President Dick Cass said during an interview with CBS. “We brought in some food; we don’t want to have them play on an empty stomach. They’re being well fed, they’re resting and they’ll be ready to go.”

Officials announced that the game is expected to resume at 3:25 p.m. EST.

Before the delay, the Ravens started the game on a roll. They scored on their first two possessions, as running back Ray Rice had five carries for 56 yards and a touchdown. Tucker then added to the lead with his field goal. There is currently four minutes, 51 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Delays are nothing new for the Ravens, as this is the third game they have had a suspension in their last 11 matchups.  The season opener in Denver was also delayed because of storms and the Super Bowl was suspended because of the blackout.

The Ravens came out of the Super Bowl delay flat, before ultimately winning that game. The Ravens lost the season opener against Denver after the weather delay. 

Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis both said they believed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell may have had a hand in the power outage and suspension in the Super Bowl.

“The commissioner was blamed of course for the blackout in New Orleans,” Cass joked. “There’s no grumbling about the commissioner this time. I think everyone realizes he couldn’t control the weather. I think our guys, we know there are always going to be things to deal with. Our guys are accustomed to dealing with it. They’re fine. We’ve just got to get our momentum back, get out there and play hard again.

“Honestly I think the situation in the Super Bowl helps us to be ready for this, I really do,” Cass said. “I think we learned something from that experience. I think John [Harbaugh, head coach] will probably say something to them before we take the field again. I think we’ll be ready.”

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