By now, the story has made the rounds here at PhiladelphiaEagles.com and within the Eagles organization: When we moved to the NFL-mandated platform, we also moved to the NFL's Message Boards. It was a solution that seemed so simple: Take the deep, rich and constant conversation of more than 165,000 registered fans and simply move that group to another board.
Not at all. Eagles fans reacted immediately, sending me emails, calling me, and opening threads on the new boards that expressed their outright disgust at a board template that didn't cater to their needs. It simply wasn't robust enough for the sophistication established over the years on PhiladelphiaEagles.com. The fans were polite about it. They were just wall-to-wall unhappy, and they let me know about it.
So I turned to upper management to let them know the situation, specifically Eagles President Joe Banner. He runs the day-to-day operations, and he wanted to know how the new web site functioned, the fans' reaction to it and what the plans were to make the fans happy again.
In a matter of a week's time, then, we reverted back to the old boards with Invision. It was as it time stood still on Sunday when the board was again active, and the posts from March 30 were there. The outpouring of reaction from the fans has been incredible, but I'm not the one to thank. Truth is, Banner is the one who insisted that we strike a deal with Invision and restore order on the boards.
I think this is a great story, one that is an example of Eagles fans speaking up and having their voices heard. This isn't about run/pass ratio and red-zone effectiveness. It is about a large group of fans who have made the Message Boards here the most vibrant in the NFL and who banded together and spoke loudly, and intelligently, and in an organized manner, about something they lost that meant a lot to them.
A large part of the fan experience is time spent on this web site. We know that. That's why the organization has provided the assets it has made available for us to create the content that we bring forth every day. Jeffrey Lurie and Banner have always insisted that the web site stays ahead of the curve and that it investigates new ways to touch the fans and make them part of the daily experience. And we have done that, day after day and year after year, because we have the resources to do so. We have the drive and passion to make it happen.
So something was terribly wrong in the fans' world when the boards were taken away. I accept responsibility for the fault; we went along with the NFL's solution and it proved to be a mistake. It didn't work with our fans.
I commend the fans for not accepting what we tried to give you. I commend Banner and the Eagles for providing the "do-what-it-takes" message to me to change back to the popular board format. It's a happy, lively community again on the Message Boards here. And I'm looking at it as a new beginning, a fresh start. We are going to upgrade the boards to the newest version, but only after we allow the fans to test some planned enhancements and features, to "modernize" the boards.
If you don't like it, you will tell us and we will keep everything the same. If you like it, we'll implement the changes. Just keep up the lines of communication, and know that you are being heard. And while the world out there won't know much about what happened here, rest assured that the Eagles and the huge community of fans who visit this web site every day want to know how you feel about the boards and about the team on and off the field.
Thanks for being who you are, Eagles fans. We wouldn't be here without you.