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Commentary: Ravens fans that stayed rewarded with finish

Thirty minutes before, the questions would have been all about the weather.
The five touchdowns in 121 seconds changed that.
In the most unbelievable ending the Baltimore Ravens have ever experienced, the weather became almost an afterthought.
It wasn't an afterthought for the thousands of fans who couldn't get to M&T Stadium because of hazardous driving conditions. Nor those who had suffered through a first half marred by weather and chose to leave at halftime.
The ones who stayed were rewarded.
"In the first half, you could hardly see," coach John Harbaugh said. "I'm glad [Minnesota] wore purple pants. I'm not sure we would have ever seen them out there."
In the second half conditions improved.
"We just had to figure out what we could do," Harbaugh said.
The Ravens have had a most unusual weather-marred year. There was the unforgettable double overtime playoff win in Denver in January, and eight months later their season opener was delayed by lightning. Three weeks ago in Chicago, there was a near two-hour delay due to torrential rain.
"We played in Denver. That was crazy. We played in a tornado in Chicago. We played in a monsoon in preseason in Tampa," Jacoby Jones said. "It was Disneyland on Ice today."
It was the first time in the team's 18-year history that snow had to be removed during a game.
"My feet were the coldest. I couldn't feel my toes," Ed Dickson said. "We can go through hurricanes. We can go through blizzards. The Super Bowl this year is supposed to be in New York, so it gives us a little taste of what's going to happen if it happens to snow."
The fans who did show up were acknowledged in a scoreboard message midway through the second quarter.
"We know the elements are tough, but Ravens fans are tougher," it read.
There were thousands of empty seats as kickoff approached. Yard markers couldn't be made out until workers with snow shovels got busy. During the large number of commercial timeouts, the shovels returned. Tractors and plows jointed them. The unusual sight of perhaps two dozen workers scurrying on the field made for a distraction during the normally dead time.
The snow let up midway through the first quarter, but was still present when a plow was caught on the field during the first play of a Minnesota drive in the second quarter.
Fortunately, Matt Cassel's pass fell incomplete as the plow drove off the field, avoiding another messy situation.
"It was fun at first," Terrell Suggs said.
But, the novelty quickly wore off.
Halftime was spent cleaning the field off. By the time play resumed nearly every morsel of snow was removed.As the third quarter began, the stands were as empty as during the second half of a preseason game. Snow intensified again as the third quarter began, but stopped a few minutes later.
"The second half was better because the field cleared up," Joe Flacco said. "That was the biggest issue with the field. The game was just so slow in the first half."
It wasn't a memorable game until the 121 seconds that fans who couldn't make it will rue missing and the ones who did stay will recount forever.
"Everybody was having a tough time stopping and then restarting," Flacco said. "The second half, when they got the field cleared off, it was pretty much a typical game. The conditions were pretty close to normal."
But, the ending wasn't normal.
"The game picked up, certainly in the last two minutes," Dennis Pitta said.
Next Monday night, Baltimore gets to avoid the elements. It plays indoors at Detroit's Ford Field.
"Is there other weather we haven't seen yet? I don't even want to say that because something is going to happen," Harbaugh said.

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