Jason Kelce Wins the Eagles’ Victory Parade
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - As expected, Philadelphia showed up in a big way on Thursday to celebrate the first Lombardi Trophy in Eagles history.
And for the million-plus who showed up from Broad Street all the way down to the Art Museum, the highlight of the festivities was certainly All-Pro center Jason Kelce.
You knew Kelce was feeling it when he showed up in a Mummers outfit and began the parade singing along with the fans with the expletive-laden anthem of so many Philadelphians: “no one likes us, we don’t care.”
At one point Kelce also jumped on a police bike for part of the parade route but the true highlight came during the ceremony where executives and then members of the team addressed a mass of humanity in front of them from the steps of the Art Museum.
Kelce played up the underdog theme during a CM Punk-like pipe-bomb WWE promo, first singling out the team's executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman, who went from exile during Chip Kelly's last year in the organization to Executive of the Year.
"Howie Roseman, a few years ago, was relinquished all control of the organization," Kelce began, creating a ripple in the crowd and some uncomfortable looks from owner Jeffrey Lurie and Roseman himself, who were standing nearby.
"He was put in a side of the building I didn't see [him] in over a year," Kelce continued. "Two years ago when they made a decision, he came out of there a different man. He came out of here with a purpose and a drive to make this [championship] possible. And I saw a different Howie Roseman, an underdog."
Then Kelce took aim at Mike Lombardi, the former NFL GM who called Doug Pederson perhaps "the least qualified coach" he's ever seen.
"When Doug Pederson was hired, he was rated as the worst coaching hire by a lot of freaking analysts out there in the media," Kelce said. "This past offseason, some clown named Mike Lombardi told him that he was the least qualified head coach in the NFL. You saw a driven Doug Pederson, a man who went for it on fourth down, went for it on fourth down in the Super Bowl with a trick play."
Then came the players.
Kelce proclaimed that others believed Jason Peters was too old, Halapoulivaati Vaitai didn't have it, Stefen Wisniewski just wasn't good enough, Kelce himself was too small, Lane Johnson couldn't lay off the juice and Brandon Brooks had anxiety. From there if was Carson Wentz not going to a Division I school and the fact so many thought Nick Foles couldn't play while Corey Clement was too slow, LeGarrette Blount too old, and Jay Ajayi too injury prone.
Torrey Smith and Nelson Agholor couldn't catch. Zach Ertz couldn't block and Brent Celek was too old. Brandon Graham was drafted too high, Vinny Curry didn't have it. Beau Allen and Mychal Kendricks didn't fit the scheme. Jalen Mills and Patrick Robinson couldn't cover.
"It's the whole team," Kelce assessed.
Then came the Chase Utley moment, only on steroids:
"You know what I got to say to all those people that doubted us? All those people that counted us out and everybody who said who couldn't get it done?" Kelce asked rhetorically. "What my man Jay Ajayi just said: F@#$ 'em."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen