Jason Kelce could be the most ‘Philly’ athlete of all time

As another season for the Philadelphia Eagles draws to a close, we are faced with the inevitable fact that quite a few players are set to play their final games with the Birds. And longtime player Jason Kelce could unfortunately be part of that group. After 11 years of hard work, he has earned the right to quit whenever he sees fit. Still, regardless if we see more of Kelce in Midnight Green after this season, his career should put that thought on the mind of this fanbase:

Dude is possibly the most Philly athlete we’ve ever seen.

It’s a hard thing to quantify, really. What does it mean to be “Philly”? In the world of sports, this often includes facing adversity and overcoming obstacles in your path. It could be your height, lack of pedigree, or whatever might have made other teams and cities hesitate to draft or sign you. But when a team from Philadelphia came calling, you seized the opportunity and maximized every bit of your ability. You left everything on the court or on the ice or on the court, leaving no one who could ever doubt your efforts or your strength. To be Philly is to be a gamer.

Oh, and winning a championship doesn’t hurt.

For all of us, the Eagles parade was probably the turning point where Jason Kelce went from “important player” to “just legend”. Embracing all of Philly, including the beloved but stupid Mummers, Kelce has embraced this city’s culture in a way few athletes have ever had. To that end, let’s take a look at some of the athletes who have been very Philly over the decades and perhaps deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Kelce.

Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce has essentially become a Philadelphia sports legend.

Among the other Eagles, the team’s sacred “Gang Green” defense might feature Kelce’s top contenders. You know the chorus. Reggie White, Seth Joyner, Andre Waters, and so on. Maybe there never was a group of players that was more Philly collectively, but none of those individual players match Kelce’s longevity with the Eagles (and also never won a title at Philly. ). I won’t blame you either if you really want to get back to Chuck Bednarik, but old “Concrete Charlie” is just a mythical figure to most Eagles fans these days.

I love baseball, but even I would admit that it’s hard for someone who plays the sport to exude the kind of tenacity that a football player like Kelce has. For the Phillies, however, Chase Utley is the first name that comes to mind. A Californian boy wouldn’t seem like the kind of player who could connect with fans in that city, but utters the name “Chase Utley” to any Philadelphia fan between the ages of 25 and 50, and their knees are shaking in reverence. Utley has managed an almost Hall-level career playing hard every night and setting an example for his club. And he also got drunk on a parade and set the bar high in celebration, nearly a decade before Kelce. Harry Kalas had never been wrong. Chase Utley, you are the man.

I would say Bryce Harper is slowly building his case as well, thanks to his commitment to the city by signing for 13 years with no opt-out option and then backing him up with his play on the pitch. Sadly, the rest of the Phillies are going to have to start supporting him and winning more games before he gets full credit.

As far as the 76ers go, this is a difficult area to examine. Allen Iverson may have been the most rambling player we’ve ever seen in this town in all the sports we love, but there was so much other nonsense that some people still never liked him. And while you can’t doubt Joel Embiid’s dominance and the strength with which he plays, there have been so many missteps on the part of the franchise in recent years that it makes one wonder if he will achieve. one day full cult status. Again, winning a title would help, but this ship may have sailed before.

The Flyers, with their small number of rabid fans, probably can’t pitch any of their players as the most Philly athlete of all time, but franchise icon Bobby Clarke has to be in the discussion. We’re going to score some points though due to the fact that he’s played so long ago that most current fans haven’t seen him play, as well as his front office career which has had its fair share of flaws. .

In the decades since Clarke hung up his skates, other players like Rick Tocchet might come to mind, guys who played an uncompromising style that perfectly matched what we’ve always been told. a Philadelphia Flyer should be. Hats off to Ron Hextall and Scott Hartnell as well. More recently, Wayne Simmonds fit the mold of being an athlete of the Philly genre, a true heart and soul player who worked for every ounce of the success he achieved. But Wayne was simply a good player whose status was elevated in the minds of fans through his level of effort, not a great bona fide player like Kelce.

When discussing who is the “most Philly” athlete of all time, it’s not enough to talk about the most talented ones. The player in question must have the right type of personality and the will to succeed that matches or even exceeds their natural abilities. Plus, forever bonus points for the parade. And so I’m going to declare Jason Kelce as the most Philly athlete to ever have graced our eyeballs, although I’m not totally rejecting some of the nominees I’ve mentioned. But no matter how you end up stumbling upon this topic, I think we can all agree that Jason Kelce’s time in Philadelphia was a blast. There will never be another player like him.

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