Eagles

How Jason Kelce ended up in a Mummers costume

How Jason Kelce ended up in a Mummers costume

On Tuesday night, as Bob Coyle was practicing with the other members of the Avalon String Band, he got a call from his wife Libby that sent him down into the basement of their headquarters at 2nd and Tasker in South Philly. 

The phone call became a mission. 

"She says, listen, ‘Do you have a Mummers suit for someone who's 6-foot-4, 300 pounds,'" Coyle recalled on Thursday night. "I said, honey, who the f--- needs that?"

The answer, of course, was Jason Kelce. 

Libby began cutting Kelce's hair around six years ago when the Eagles' center moved to the city and the two have become close friends in the years since. On Tuesday, Kelce called her and said the players were coming up with different ideas of what to wear for the parade in a couple days and he thought about a Mummers costume. 

So Coyle headed down to the basement and found one of about a half dozen costumes left over from the string band's 2008 "Ire-land of Leprechauns" performance. The actual costume belonged to musical director Jim Crompton, who played college football himself.  

"Jimmy's a big dude," Coyle said, "but it fit Jason perfectly." 

Crompton, 33, is a big dude. He's 6-foot-5 and is anywhere from around 275-300 pounds. After playing high school football at Archbishop Wood, he went on to play right tackle at Lycoming College. 

So with the big costume in tow, Libby showed up to the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday to cut Kelce's hair and then to help him squeeze himself into the giant leprechaun costume. Bob joked that she helps him get into his suit every year, so she was able to help Kelce too. 

"It fit him like a glove," Coyle said of the costume that Kelce wore in front of millions of people on Thursday afternoon, "and he fell in love with it immediately." 

On Tuesday night, Crompton started to get hints that Kelce might wear his old costume and then on Wednesday he saw photos of Kelce trying it on. 

He still wasn't sold. 

"I really didn't think he was going to do it," Crompton said. "We have some friends who are in the band who are police officers at the stadium and they sent pictures out saying he was in full-on suit. It was pretty cool. The whole day was just amazing."

And it wasn't just that Kelce wore his costume for the parade. Kelce was wearing it when he gave one of the most epic and passionate speeches in Philadelphia sports history. 

Kelce shouted into the microphone about what it meant to be an underdog and, of course, dropped a few F-bombs along the way. 

"Yeah, that's going to go down in the books. That speech was epic," Crompton said. "I think it kind of rang true for a lot of the members of the Avalon too. We've been kind of struggling the last couple years, have been the underdogs along with them. We definitely know where he was coming from with that speech. It had a lot of depth for us."

Coyle said it was especially neat seeing that speech come from such a genuine guy in one of his band's costumes.  

It's pretty clear Kelce's speech — and that costume — are going to be remembered. 

"Here we are, it's 10 years after Chase Utley and we still talk about that," Coyle said. "That was a great speech. But this speech that Kelce gave today, I mean, you could tell it was from the heart, it wasn't scripted and it was spot on. It couldn't have been any more Philly." 

Report: NFLPA board unanimously recommends to cancel entire preseason 

Report: NFLPA board unanimously recommends to cancel entire preseason 

Just two days after we learned the NFL’s plan to cut the 2020 preseason in half, the NFL Players Association is reportedly recommending that the league cancel the entire preseason. 

The NFLPA’s board of representatives voted unanimously on the recommendation, according to ESPN. 

On Wednesday, ProFootballTalk reported that the NFL was cutting the preseason in half because of the coronavirus pandemic, keeping Weeks 2 and 3 but eliminating Weeks 1 and 4. Other reports indicated that those preseason games would be pushed back later into August. 

If the Eagles end up playing the original Weeks 2 and 3 of their preseason schedule, they will face the Dolphins on the road and the Patriots at home. They were originally scheduled to be at Indianapolis in Week 1 and at home against the Jets in Week 4, but those games have already been canceled. 

The NFL is still planning for training camps to begin on July 28 with rookies and select vets allowed to report earlier. 

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said earlier this offseason that his team will need the entire five-to-six-week training camp to get ready for the 2020 season, especially after missing the entire spring workout schedule because of the pandemic. 

The Eagles are scheduled to begin their 2020 regular season in Washington on Sept. 13. 

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Redskins considering changing name amid rising pressure

Redskins considering changing name amid rising pressure

He said he would never do it.

"We'll never change the name of the team," Dan Snyder told USA Today in 2013. "It's that simple. Never. You can use caps."

Now, amid an increased national focus on racism and social justice and mounting pressure from million-dollar sponsors, his tune has suddenly changed.

The Redskins' owner said in a statement Friday that the franchise will review the team's name, seen by many as racist and offensive to Native Americans and others.

Protests against the Redskins' name and logo have been ongoing for decades, but when companies like FedEx and Nike join those protests, things can change very quickly.

Considering the growing pressure now on the franchise, it would be surprising at this point if the franchise elects not to change its name.

"In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team's name," the statement read. "This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has consistently supported Snyder's decision to keep the team name, released a statement saying only, "In the last few weeks we have had ongoing discussions with Dan and we are supportive of this important step."

FedEx, which paid $205 million for the naming rights for the Redskins' stadium in 1998, asked the Redskins earlier Friday to change the team name. And Nike, the NFL's official uniform supplier, on Thursday removed all Redskins gear from its website while continuing to allow customers to order merchandise from all 31 other teams.

In the statement released by the team, Snyder said: "This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field."

First-year Redskins head coach Ron Rivera, a former Eagles assistant coach and one of three Latin American head coaches in NFL history, indicated in the statement that he favors a name change.

"This issue is of personal importance to me and I look forward to working closely with Dan Snyder to make sure we continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our Military."

The team's current name dates back 87 years.

The NFL Boston Braves franchise was founded in 1932 and one year later moved to Fenway Park, which it shared with the baseball franchise of the same name. To avoid confusion, owner George Preston Marshall changed the name to Redskins. The franchise moved to Washington in 1937 and kept the name.

Marshall, who owned the franchise until his death in 1969, refused to allow black players on the roster until 1962, which made the team the last in the NFL to integrate. 

Not until U.S. attorney general Robert F. Kennedy threatened to rescind the team's lease at city-owned RFK Stadium did Marshall finally allow the team's roster to be integrated.

Last month, team officials removed Marshall's name from the Redskins Ring of Honor at FedEx Field, and a statue of Marshall was removed from RFK Stadium by city officials after it was vandalized.

Protests against sports teams and logos perpetuating stereotypes of Native Americans and their culture have grown more widespread in recent years but have been held for decades.

In 1991 — nearly 30 years ago — there were organized protests against the Atlanta Braves and Redskins over their team names and logos, according to an Associated Press story. The story quoted Clyde Bellecourt, director of a group called the American Indian Movement, which organized protests outside Braves and Redskins games.

"It's a racist term," Bellecourt told the AP in October of 1991. "We're not thin-skinned, this just makes a mockery of uses a people and of our culture."

And now, it looks like the franchise is finally going to do something about it.

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