In a five-minute explosion of passion and righteous indignation, Eagles Pro-Bowl center Jason Kelce channeled a city’s frustration, desire and unbridled joy.
In the decades that this city had been waiting to celebrate an NFL Championship, the expectations of what that party would be had grown to epic proportions. The Flyers, Phillies and 76ers had set a bar that other cities could only wish to emulate. But, every Philadelphian knew that a Philadelphia Eagles parade would leave those other conflagrations in the dust.
Thursday’s jollification somehow exceeded all expectations.
Millions lined Broad Street and the Ben Franklin Parkway for miles, showering their champions with appreciation and adulation. A sea of humanity welcomed the Vince Lombardi Trophy and its new owners upon their arrival at the steps of the historic Philadelphia Museum of Art.
As you might have guessed, a progression of worthy members of the Eagles family took the stage to address the throng; Owner – Jeff Lurie, GM – Howie Roseman, Head Coach – Doug Pederson, QB’s – Nick Foles and Carson Wentz and more, all lauding the fans’ passion, the commitment of their brothers-in-arms and promising more parties to come.
Then, Jason Kelce stepped to the podium, festooned in a glorious Mummer’s costume and full of pride. Chris Long and Lane Johnson, the men who initiated the dog mask phenomenon and the ‘underdog’ mania, had lit the fuse. Kelce exploded.
One by one, he listed what seemed like every member of the roster, coaching staff and front office, along with their perceived weaknesses. He even specifically called out national analyst Mike Lombardi, who had called Pederson the “most unqualified coach he had ever seen.” “We’re all underdogs! The whole team!!” he exclaimed as he pounded the podium.
He then referenced a motivational saying that offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland displays in his office – “Hungry Dogs Run Faster”. This, he preached, was the reason they were “the first team in Eagles history to hold that frickin’ trophy!”
Finally, he assured Eagles Nation that they were the ultimate underdogs, having waited so long for this moment, this validation, this reward. Peppered with profanity and building to a massive crescendo, whipping an already fevered crowd into an absolute frenzy, he closed with a message to all the doubters and haters who counted them out. Decorum prevents a direct quote. Suffice to say the bearded madman extended a copulatory suggestion to those in his crosshairs.
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As the crowd erupted in response, Kelce led them in song … to the tune of ‘My Darling, Clementine’, he growled “No one likes us! No one likes us! No one likes us and we don’t care! We are Philly, f***in’ Philly! No one likes us and we don’t care!!”
On a day of unforgettable moments and lifelong dreams fulfilled, it will be the image of Kelce, a sequin-spangled Luck Sultan, saying all the things WE wanted to say with all the fervor he could muster. None of these guys will ever pay for a beer in this town again. But, after this indelible declaration, Jason Kelce is Philly Immortal.