Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce delivered an epic speech during the team’s victory celebration Thursday. You can watch video of the full uncensored speech above.
The 30-year-old Kelce, who has been with the Eagles since 2011, spoke passionately about how Philadelphia, as a team, as a coaching staff, as a front office, as an ownership group, as fans and as a city, has been an underdog, crediting that mentality with helping them win the Super Bowl for the first time in Eagles history.
“Philadelphia! If you love the Eagles, let me get a ‘hell yeah!’” Kelce roared, as the crowd responded. “If you love the Philadelphia Eagles let me get a ‘hell yeah!’ I’m going to take a second to talk about underdogs. I don’t think it’s been beat home enough.”
“Hungry dogs run faster,” Kelce said later in the 5-minute speech. “Bottom line is we wanted it more.”
Kelce was dressed like a reveler in the city’s annual New Year’s Mummers parade as he spoke from the stage set up at the Philadelphia Museum of Art after the victory parade. During the parade he led fans in chants of “no one likes us, we don’t care.”
Kelce was drafted in the sixth round of the 2011 draft out of the University of Cincinnati. A former walk-on running back, Kelce became the starting center by his senior year with the Bearcats and was an honorable mention All-American. But the 6 foot 3, 295-pounder was seen as undersized for an NFL offensive lineman, something he touched upon in his speech Thursday as he ran through several of the criticisms he and his teammates have faced.
“Jason Peters was told he was too old, didn’t have it anymore. Before he got hurt, he was the best freakin tackle in the NFL. Big V [Halapoulivaati Vaitai] was told he didn’t have it. Stefan Wisniewski ain’t good enough. Jason Kelce is too small. Lane Johnson can’t lay off the juice. Brandon Brooks has anxiety,” Peters said to loud cheers, as the crowd being responding “What?” after each line, as if Kelce was delivering a WWE promo. “Carson Wentz didn’t go to a Division 1 school, Nick Foles don’t got it. Corey Clement’s too slow. LeGarrette Blount don’t got it anymore. Jay Ajayi can’t stay healthy. Torrey Smith can’t catch. Nelson Agholor can’t catch. Zach Ertz can’t block. Brent Celek is too old. Brandon Graham was drafted too high. Vinny Curry ain’t got it. Beau Allen can’t fit the scheme. Mychal Kendricks. Mychal Kendricks can’t fit the scheme. Nigel Bradham can’t catch. Jalen Mills can’t cover. Patrick Robinson can’t cover.”
It’s the whole team. This entire organization is a bunch of driven men to accomplish something. We’re all a bunch of underdogs and you know what underdogs is? It’s a hungry dog.”
Kelce earlier borrowed a bicycle from a police officer and rode part of the parade route.
Kelce also talked about how the team’s front office and coaches were seen as not good enough.
“Howie Roseman, a few years ago was relinquished of all control pretty much of this organization. He was put in the side of the building where I didn’t see him for over a year,” Kelce said of the team’s GM. “Two years ago, when they made a decision, he came out of there a different man. He came out of there with a purpose, with a drive, to make this possible. And I saw a different Howie Roseman, an underdog.”
Kelce then turned to his head coach. “When Doug Pederson was hired, he was rated as the worst coaching hire by a lot of freaking analysts out there in the media. This past off-season 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 and down, in the Super Bowl with a trick play. He wasn’t playing just to go mediocre, he was playing for a Super Bowl.”
Kelce, his voice growing hoarse, said “this entire organization is a bunch of driven men to accomplish something. We were a bunch of underdogs. And you know what an underdog is? It’s a hungry dog. … And hungry dogs run faster. And that’s this team. Bottom line is we wanted it more. All the players, all the coaches, the front office, [owner] Jeffrey Lurie, everybody wanted it more. And that’s why we’re up here today. And that’s why we’re the first team in Eagles history to hold that freaking trophy.”
Kelce finally turned his attention to the fans.
“You know who the biggest underdog is? It’s ya’ll Philadelphia,” Kelce said. “For 52 years y’all have been waiting for this. You want to talk about hungry dog? You want to talk about underdog? For 52 years you’ve been starved of this championship. Everybody wonders why we’re so mean. Everybody wonders why the Philadelphia Eagles aren’t the nicest fans. If I don’t eat breakfast, I’m fucking pissed off.
“No one wanted us. No one liked this team. No one analysts liked this team to win the Super Bowl,” Kelce continued. “And nobody likes our fans. And you know what? I just heard one of the best chants this past day. And it’s one of my favorites and it’s new and I hope y’all learn it. … You know what I’ve got to say to all those people who doubted us, to all those people who counted us out and to everybody who said we couldn’t get it done? Fuck em’”
Kelce then led the crowd in the chant of “No one likes us,” to the tune of “Oh My Darling, Clementine.”
“No one likes us, no one likes us, no one likes us, we don’t care, we’re from Philly, fucking Philly, no one likes us, we don’t care … E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles,” he sang with the crowd.