"If you love the Eagles, let me get a 'hell yeah!'"
A fired-up Jason Kelce, clothed head to toe in Mummers garb, lit up a massive crowd of Birds fans with an impassioned speech during the Eagles' Super Bowl celebration Thursday on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
In a fairly lengthy speech laced with expletives, the Eagles Pro Bowler likened the city to hungry dogs who "for 52 years have been starved of this championship."
"We wanted it more," Kelce said. "All the players. All the coaches. The front office. 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 addressed the criticism the team has endured and singled out people. Though he didn't mention former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly by name, he criticized Kelly's decision to send Howie Roseman, the team's executive vice president of football operations, to "the side of the building" where the offensive lineman didn't see him for over a year.
"He came out of there a different man," Kelce said. "He came out of there with a purpose and a drive to make this possible… I saw a different Howie Roseman. An underdog."
Kelce saved most of his fire for Mike Lombardi, a former NFL general manager and NFL Network analyst who now works for the Ringer. Lombardi, who once worked for the Eagles under former team president Joe Banner, compared Pederson to former 76ers head coach Roy Rubin, who was fired after just 51 games when his team went 4-47.
"This past offseason, some clown named Mike Lombardi told him that he was the least-qualified head coach in the NFL," Kelce exclaimed, pointing at Pederson. "You saw a driven Doug Pederson, a man who went for it on fourth down … in the Super Bowl ,,, with a trick play. He wasn't playing just to go mediocre. He's playing for a Super Bowl.
"No one wanted us. No one liked this team. No analyst liked this team to win the Super Bowl and nobody likes our fans," Kelce continued. "You know what I got to say to all those people who doubted us … what my man Jay Ajayi just said: F— you!"
Following the speech, Lombardi responded on Twitter to Kelce's rant.
"Look, I deserve what Kelce said, I was wrong and he is right," Lombardi wrote.
Here's a full transcript of Kelce's speech, edited lightly for style and profanity:
If you love the Eagles let me get a "hell yeah."
CROWD: Hell yeah!
If you love the Philadelphia Eagles let me get a "hell yeah."
CROWD: HELL YEAH!
I'm going to take a second to talk to you about underdogs. I know Lane and Chris just talked about this, but I don't think it's been beat home enough.
Howie Roseman, a few years ago, was relinquished of all control pretty much in this organization … He was put in the side of the building where I didn't see him for over a year.
Two years ago, when they made a decision, he came out of there a different man. He came out of there with a purpose and a drive to make this possible. And I saw a different Howie Roseman. An underdog.
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 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. He wasn't playing just to beat the under. He's playing for a Super Bowl.
And it don't stop with him. It does not stop with him.
Jason Peters was told he was too old, didn't have it any more. Before he got hurt, he was the best freaking tackle in the NFL.
Big V was told he didn't have it.
Stefen Wisniewski ain't good enough.
Jason Kelce is too small.
Lane Johnson can't lay off the juice.
Brandon Brooks has anxiety.
Carson Wentz didn't go to a Division I school.
Nick Foles don't got it.
Corey Clement's too slow.
LeGarrette Blount ain'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's too old.
Brandon Graham was drafted too high.
Vinny Curry ain't got it.
Beau Allen can't fit the scheme.
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. It's the whole team.
This entire organization, with a bunch of driven men, who accomplished something. We were a bunch of underdogs. And you know what an underdog is? It's a hungry dog. And Jeff Stoutland has had this in our building for five years — it's a quote in the O-line room that has stood on the wall for the last five years — "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. 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.
Any you know who the biggest underdog is? It's y'all, Philadelphia. For 52 years, y'all have been waiting for this. You want to talk about an underdog? You want to talk about a hungry dog? 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 f–ing pissed off.
No one wanted us. No one liked this team. No analyst liked this team to win the Super Bowl 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 you learn it.
Because I'm about to drop it right now.
You know what I got to say to all those people who doubted us, all those people that counted us out, and everybody who said we couldn't get it done?
What my man Jay Ajayi just said: F– you!
SINGING: "No one likes us. No one likes us. No one likes us. We don't care. We're from Philly. F–ing Philly. No one likes us. We don't care. No one likes us. No one likes us. No one likes us. We don't care. We're from Philly. F– Philly, No one likes us. We don't care."
And here's a sampling of the reaction Kelce's speech garnered from the sports media world:
Glen Macnow, 94.1 WIP:
Tyler Kepner, New York Times:
Michael Baumann, The Ringer:
Geoff Mosher, 975 The Fanatic:
Mike Sielski, Philadelphia Inquirer:
Bomani Jones, ESPN:
Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated:
Cole Wright, NFL Network:
Alex Holley, FOX29: