I was impressed with the Eagles' presentation to reporters Friday of their plans for a $125 milllion facelift for Lincoln Financial Field; I think some of the planned changes will give the Linc more character, will define it more as the home of the Eagles and a "Philly" kind of place.
A little of that feel was missing, frankly, from the Linc when it was unveiled a decade ago. I remember writing a story for a special pullout section we did on the opening of the new stadium, a story that entailed more than one lengthy conversation with then-Eagles president Joe Banner. The stadium was Banner's baby, and he put a lot of thought into every detail of its design. Banner was confident Eagles fans would appreciate all the little touches he found important. But as was so often the case during Banner's tenure, the fans and Joe didn't quite connect as strongly as he'd hoped. When the Birds held a summertime open house to celebrate their new palace, public attention focused not on the sleek, ultramodern angles and the sightlines Joe was so proud of, but on the fact that there wasn't a water fountain anywhere in the place. Water fountains weren't something Banner researched on his tour of the great stadiums of Europe.
From the story I wrote then:
"The stadium goes so far beyond the Eagles," Banner says. "You leave something that will be a part of the fabric and the image of the city way beyond me or Jeff Lurie or Andy Reid or Donovan McNabb. A structure of that size and visibility, to the world it kind of makes a statement about where you're from or what you're about. Those kind of details or subtleties matter . . . I don't know that many people get to work on something that the effect of, the use of and the visibility goes way beyond their own lives. This building will be a part of the fabric and memories of this city, probably longer than I'll be alive. "