January 5, 2014 |
In Center City, blowing snow and 18-degree temperatures didn't stop 70 devoted Eagles fans from picking their way across frozen sidewalks to cheer at a midday pep rally. In Camden County, officials pleaded with drivers to stay off dangerously icy roads, as schools closed across New Jersey. In the Pennsylvania suburbs, commerce would not be stopped by harsh weather - the Plymouth Meeting, Willow Grove Park, Exton Square and Springfield malls all managed to open by about noon Friday.
December 10, 2013 |
IT IS NOT a bad gig, working as a member of the Eagles' game day field crew. Guys like John Liberatoscioli and Kevin Lengyel set up the field - benches, yard makers and whatnot - and then, during the game, pull the nets up and down behind the goal posts during field goals and extra points. All of which means there is plenty of time to watch the game itself from a coveted vantage point. Then there are the days when it snows 8 inches. Tony Leonard, the Eagles' director of grounds, said that between 15 and 20 guys on that ground crew spent yesterday afternoon either pushing shovels or lugging around gas-powered blowers in an attempt to keep the yard markers visible during the Eagles' 34-20 win over the Detroit Lions.
December 21, 2009 |
A little past noon yesterday, Tony Leonard - his Eagles hoodie up, his eyes tired - took matters into own hands. Most of the heavy lifting had already been done at the Linc - shovelful by shovelful in the stands, Bobcat scoop by Bobcat scoop on the sidelines. On the playing field, Leonard, the Eagles' head groundskeeper, had jerry-rigged plows fashioned from the long tubes the tarps are rolled on, ordering runs after every four-inch accumulation. In Section 112, the platoons of shovelers - part of a 1,700-man army - fed snow onto downhill chutes that looked like luge runs, spilling it onto the field for the busy-bee Bobcats to nip at. Vast stretches of the parking lots - K-1, K-2, and, well, all the K's - were scraped to the blacktop, the snow carted off by a fleet of 70 tri-axle dump trucks to abandoned runways at the Navy Yard.
December 21, 2009
WHEN THE accumulated inconvenience from the Great Pre-Christmas Blizzard of 2009 reached 20 inches, I called it a Saturday night. Before retiring for a long winter's nap, I watched the local sports wraps. All did live pieces, snow whirling eerily through the bright lights of Lincoln Financial Field, on the monumental task the Eagles had taken on to ensure yesterday's pushed-back game with the 49ers could be played in an environment safe for both players and fans. It is one thing to clear an outdoor facility seating 67,000 fans after the storm is over.
September 7, 2008 |
Tony Leonard watched Temple and Connecticut play football yesterday at Lincoln Financial Field. But he also watched the windswept rain, and his concern was how the turf would be for the Eagles-Rams game today. "There's only so much we can do and control," Leonard said as the Connecticut players loosened up on the field about 90 minutes before the noon kickoff. "We'll just have to wait and see. " Leonard, the head groundskeeper at the Linc, said that the vacuum system for the stadium's DD GrassMaster turf field had been in operation for the previous 48 hours to dry the field as much as possible before the storm.
November 28, 2007 |
Tony Leonard was watching Monday Night Football, and the Eagles' head groundskeeper had nothing but empathy for Chris Ecton, his counterpart with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Leonard is hoping he doesn't have to live through the same nightmare Ecton endured at Heinz Field during the Steelers' 3-0 rain-soaked victory over the Miami Dolphins. Like the Eagles, Pittsburgh sodded over its DD GrassMaster surface because the field had become damaged by excessive use. Unlike the Eagles, the Steelers were forced to do a 24-hour rush job over the weekend after four high school games and one college game were played at Heinz Field in a two-day period.
November 21, 2004 |
The lawnmower had a night game at Lincoln Financial Field. After the Big East Conference football game between Temple and Boston College at the stadium yesterday, a crew of about 12 workers had just over 24 hours to prepare the field for today's game between the Eagles and Redskins. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:15 p.m, so time was a factor. The Owls and BC spent the better part of three hours tromping on the field; the workers' goal was to have it a pristine green canvas in time for kickoff today.
December 6, 2003 |
Eagles coach Andy Reid and his players displayed little concern about the potentially difficult field conditions that they could encounter tomorrow when they play the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field. The same could not be said for the team officials responsible for making sure the Linc is a safe place and the field is in good condition over the weekend during the two football games that will take place there. Before Army faces Navy this afternoon, Eagles spokeman Ron Howard said, an army of workers will be on hand at the stadium in an effort to clear snow from the field, the seating area, the parking lots and sidewalks.
September 5, 2003 |
It must have been quite a sight. For two weeks last spring, 24 hours a day, six days a week, two mini-excavators, each equipped with 88 needles and 88 bobbins - giant, barely mobile sewing machines of sorts - crawled over every bit of the Kentucky bluegrass that is the playing surface at Lincoln Financial Field. Stopping every three-fourths of an inch, the machines injected the sod with 16-inch strands of green, plastic fiber, folded in half, 20 million of them in all, enough to circle the globe and then some.
June 13, 2003 |
The kicker put on the first show at Lincoln Financial Field. With just about every construction worker in the place watching, the Eagles' David Akers blasted a 55-yard kick through the goalposts at the south end of the field. Akers drew cheers, then moved back 5 yards and tried a 60-yarder. He hit the left upright, but he had more than enough distance. "We hit the upright from 60, and it probably would have gone from about 75," Akers said. Akers later connected from 57 yards.