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." 

Why Jeff Lurie's response to national anthem policy was disappointing

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Why Jeff Lurie's response to national anthem policy was disappointing

On the latest edition of Roob Knows, an Eagles podcast, Reuben Frank discusses the NFL's new national anthem policy and why he was disappointed by Jeff Lurie's reaction. 

Roob also looks at the Eagles' linebacker situation, what's the next move after a couple losses and why you shouldn't bet against Carson Wentz.

Also, rookie cornerback Avonte Maddox joins the podcast. And a look at some Zach Ertz statistics that may surprise you.

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Roob's 10 observations: Anthem policy, Kendricks' career, Wentz

Roob's 10 observations: Anthem policy, Kendricks' career, Wentz

Some thoughts on the NFL’s new anthem policy, Mychal Kendricks’ release, Carson Wentz’s return to practice and — of course — the Joe Callahan Stat of the Day!

It’s all in this week’s OTA edition of Roob’s 10 random Eagles observations!

1. The NFL’s anthem policy banning players from peaceful demonstrations during the anthem bothers me for a few reasons. First of all, it’s a dangerous precedent for the league to unilaterally restrict any such form of personal expression. Legislating opinions never works. Players are going to find other ways to express their opinions, and the policy is only going to breed resentment between the players and the league, which is the last thing the league needs right now. But more than that, I really have problems with the word “disrespect.” When someone arbitrarily decides what is and what isn’t “disrespectful,” you really get yourself in a lot of trouble. Nobody who’s listened to Malcolm Jenkins so eloquently discuss his reasons for raising his fist during the anthem would ever accuse him of being disrespectful. And also, since this is a policy that affects mainly African-American players, it has strong racial implications. These are issues that aren’t going to just go away, whether or not the NFL tries to make them disappear.

2. And I found Eagles owner Jeff Lurie’s statement uncharacteristically tepid and vague. Lurie has been courageously supportive all along of Jenkins, Chris Long and all the players league-wide who’ve used their platform to fight for equal rights and social justice. All that statement did was avoid taking a stand on the new NFL policy. Disappointing.

3. Onto football matters! There’s no question the Eagles are a better football team with Mychal Kendricks on the field. Kendricks was solid last year and very good in the postseason. But the bottom line is Kendricks has felt unwanted and disrespected for a long time. The Eagles have been trying unsuccessfully to unload his contract for a couple years, and Kendricks knew he had no future here. If a team doesn’t want a player and the player doesn’t want to be with the team, it’s not a healthy relationship. And that’s why Kendricks is gone. But Kendricks handled what could have been an ugly situation with class and professionalism, and he’s got a Super Bowl ring to show for it. He never became the Pro Bowl player I expected when I first saw him play in 2012, but he was a decent player here for six years, and he leaves as a champion.

4. Jason Kelce announced the start of the 5K at the Eagles Autism Challenge at the Linc in terrible conditions and parodied his Super Bowl parade speech: “They said it was too cold! They said it was too rainy!” Hilarious.

5. Watching Carson Wentz actually participate in individual drills at practice Tuesday morning was pretty wild. For him to be out there looking comfortable and fluid taking drops and firing passes just 5½ months after hobbling off the field at L.A. Coliseum was awfully encouraging.

6. I’m really starting to think Wentz plays Sept. 6.

7. One note about the Eagles’ linebacker depth. The days where teams ran three linebackers out there on every play are long gone. The Eagles last year played three linebackers on about 12 percent of their defensive snaps. In the Super Bowl, the Eagles played a total of three reps with three LBs. So if Jordan Hicks can stay healthy and Nigel Bradham plays like he did last year, the Eagles will be fine. Big if with Hicks. When the Eagles do play three ‘backers, I expect Corey Nelson to handle that role. Really, it comes down to Hicks staying healthy.

8. Career completion percentages of current Eagles quarterbacks:

82.6 percent … Nate Sudfeld
71.4 percent … Joe Callahan
61.5 percent … Carson Wentz
61.1 percent … Nick Foles

9. Was fun watching Mike Wallace run around at practice on Tuesday. Excited to see what he brings to this offense. He’s 31, an age where many receivers are slowing down, but he was one of just two receivers in their 30s last year who caught 50 passes and averaged 14.0 yards per catch (Ted Ginn was the other). And with Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery here, he doesn’t have to be THE GUY. None of them do. That’s the beauty of this offense.

10. Potentially, this is the best trio of receivers the Eagles have ever had. Would you rather have DeSean, Maclin and Avant or Jeffery, Agholor and Wallace? I think this group is more versatile and slightly more talented. It’s close.  

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