Philadelphia Eagles Legendary Center Jason Kelce Retires From The NFL In Extremely Emotional, Moving Press Conference

Jason Kelce
Philadelphia Eagles

In a tear-filled press conference on Monday, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce announced his retirement after 13 seasons in the NFL. The water works started flowing right when Kelce got to the podium for his press conference, where he joked, “Let’s see how long this lasts.”

One thing that will most definitely last is Kelce’s legacy. There’s little doubt he’s in the conversation as the greatest of all-time at his position. It’d frankly be a shock if he wasn’t a first-ballot inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Eagles’ offensive line has been a strength of the team for years, and certainly was when Kelce and Co. won Super Bowl LII against Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the mighty New England Patriots. If you’re playing well enough in the trenches to stave off any wrinkle Belichick can come up with to stop you, and you can hoist the Lombardi Trophy in spite of Brady throwing for over 500 yards, you’re doing something very, very right. Doesn’t hurt that Matt Patricia was calling the plays, but I digress. Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

Rather than letting Patricia catch any more strays, let’s focus on celebrating Kelce, whose singular football journey encompasses elite performance on the field year in and year out, in addition to a larger-than-life personality. That’s evident in the press conference teaser he dropped earlier today, not to mention how he was partying after the Super Bowl — both this year and when he won it.

Hell, when Kelce gets up and speaks, you never know what you’re going to get. Surely some NSFW language. That was on full display in hilarious fashion when he talked about the well-endowed manhoods of Nick Foles and Doug Pederson, who were his quarterback and head coach during that Super Bowl LII triumph.

On a more serious note, check out this story of somebody Kelce met during the Eagles’ Super Bowl parade.

Kelce won’t struggle to find work in football retirement at all. He could get a massive TV contract and work in media that way. Broadcasting would be a great way for him to stay in touch with the game. Then of course, he has a smash hit podcast named New Heights with Taylor Swift’s boyfriend who happens to be his brother, Travis. There’s very little this man cannot do.

Speaking of Travis Kelce, he was on-site to see Jason and got emotional in his own right. Easy to understand why.

There may not be a more likable athlete on the planet than Jason Kelce. You won’t find anyone who can say a bad word about him. As grueling and physical as his job was on the gridiron, Kelce always carried himself with class and admirably toed the line between peak competitive spirit and exemplary sportsmanship.

To go back to the subject of his retirement press conference, Kelce made sure to go way back and thank every fathomable person who put him on the path to NFL stardom. He even went as far to thank his hockey coaches from his youth. Didn’t have any clue Kelce ever played hockey.

Among the many standout moments from Kelce’s announcement was his lengthy explanation about why he loves football so much — and how the game gave him such a clear sense of purpose:

It’s remarkable to reflect on how much of an uphill battle Kelce had just to earn his keep at the professional level. He was a two-time, second-team all-Big East selection at the University of Cincinnati. However, he was counted out from the beginning since he weighed less than 300 pounds. This man entered college as a walk-on running back, which is almost impossible to believe.

Obviously, Andy Reid and the Eagles saw something special in him, picking Kelce 191st overall in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. As the classic saying goes, the rest is history.

I give a fair amount of sh*t to Philly sports and how obnoxious their fans can be. The fact that Kelce flourished in that kind of environment and is universally beloved in a sports city that might have the highest expectations/lowest tolerance for anything less than championship-caliber performances speaks even more to how great he was. That’s something Kelce touched on toward the end. He praised Philadelphia, and celebrated how Eagles fans hold the organization accountable.

You have to love Kelce giving his mom and his wife shout outs, too.

Here are some of the reactions coming in amid the aftermath of Kelce’s retirement, highlighted by glowing tributes from the Eagles organization.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock