Four-for-Four: The ‘Wing Bowl’ Edition

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Jason Kelce might be the only center in the NFL with a legitimate stake to being his team’s most likeable player. Coming off an all-pro caliber season, Jason Kelce looks as if he is on the cusp of becoming one of the greats to play the position in today’s NFL.

Kelce’s combination of being well-spoken and approachable has made him one of the more interesting interview subjects to describe what the last season has been like on the Eagles. He is an avid user of Twitter and, along with some of his other offensive line mates, carry the torch for the Eagles being one of the most fan-friendly teams in the NFL.

With the front-office in full ‘offseason mode’ and most of his teammates on vacation, Kelce decided to stick around and partake in the annual Wing Bowl. Long-Snapper Jon Dorenbos has held down the unofficial ‘Commissioner’ position of the event, but Kelce decided to one-up his fellow snapper. After appearing on WIP’s ‘The Morning Show’, the 3rd year player announced he would participate as an eater in the annual event.

Its easy to puff one’s chest out and make promises on the radio when you belong to the most beloved team in the city. Kelce made good on his word though, and provided the Wing Bowl crowd with one of the highlights of the morning.

Kelce performed admirably in the contest, eating 65 wings in the first 14 minutes. Unfortunately, his mark was not enough to participate in the 2nd round of the event, which was won by a woman named Molly Schuyler. That said, for an organization that had serious locker room issues around this time last year, it really is refreshing to have the entire community singing a different tune when it comes to the Eagles. Kelce is one of multiple players who have drastically changed the way the city looks at its football team.


Jan 4, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles players take to the field prior to their game against the New Orleans Saints the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In the past week, with all eyes on the New York / New Jersey area for Sunday’s Super Bowl, the prospect of Philadelphia hosting the event has come up. The flames were fanned when team President Don Smolenski expressed his interest in putting a bid on a Super Bowl, “if it (Sunday) goes well.”

After a couple of days of speculation as to what a Super Bowl in Philadelphia would look like, Jeffrey Lurie heightened the argument when he spoke following Roger Goodell’s ‘State of the NFL’’s Tim McManus released an article including several snippets from Lurie with the collective media. I’m not sure if it’s even a possibility, but the way Lurie talks about it makes it seem like a distinct possibility.

While I recognize the restrictions and hassle dealt with by the city hosting the Super Bowl, I cannot see how this would be a bad thin for the city. Fans of football may disagree with cold weather games, but if the concept continues after Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium, the Eagles should absolutely try to bring one to Lincoln Financial Field.

For all the issues on the field, the Linc is one of the more impressive establishments in the NFL. Lurie and the organization have placed heavy emphasis on making their stadium one of the most modern and fan-friendly locations in the league. Their recent announcement of a two-year, $125 million development project with Panasonic to install high-definition monitors around the stadium indicates the Eagles are not sitting on their heels.

I do not currently live in Philadelphia, so I can sympathize with those who would have to deal with the traffic and gridlock associated with the weeks leading up to the game. That said, for all those who complain about the city getting ripped on from the rest of the country, what better way to put Philadelphia’s best foot forward than hosting a Super Bowl? To pass on that chance, which the Eagles would not if they could choose, would be a foolish misstep, in my opinion.


If there is a team in the NFL that was ‘this close’ to signing, drafting, or trading for (insert player’s name here) more than the Eagles I would appreciate them being pointed out. As Eagles fans, and NFL fans for that matter, clamor for storylines after their team has been eliminated a topic that often comes up is the team’s relation to players on remaining playoff teams.

During this postseason, there have been stories linking the Eagles to Earl Thomas, Russell Wilson, and Colin Kaepernick. As fun as it is to imagine Kaepernick running the read-option for Chip Kelly or Thomas playing center field for the Eagles’ defense, the mentality of pining for ‘almost-Eagles’ has gotten out of control.

The rise of social media and the availability of professional athletes has allowed spurned supporters to reach out to players like these and pepper them with sob stories of how great things would be if he were in Philadelphia. Some might think this comes off as a knowledgeable, smart fanbase taking their support to the next level. I would bet that most of those players, while they might not come off and say it, are driven crazy by fans like that.

Fans of losing teams, myself included for a stretch, often latch on to a few questionable decisions that put their squad in a losing position. Would Earl Thomas REALLY have helped the Eagles reach a Super Bowl in the last three years? Would Andy Reid REALLY have known how to utilize Kaepernick or Wilson? At the end of the day, who cares?

Instead, focus on what was clearly a bigger issue than a few misses on high-profile picks. The past two drafts have yielded more starters and impact players than the last three under Andy Reid. Poor drafting was a major reason for the Eagles tumble from the top of the NFC East. It was NOT poor drafting of one or two players each year that prevented the team from bringing in a Pro Bowler. By the end of Andy Reid’s tenure in Philadelphia, the Eagles drafting strategy seemed so out of whack compared to successful organizations. The team brought in tweeners like Daniel Te’O-Neishem and Jaiquawn Jarrett instead of focusing on quality players who could have impacted the game in various ways.

The brass of the Eagles organization knows full well that the draft is where they must turn to if they want to field a Super Bowl caliber roster. They have two solid years of doing so in their best and a third could be the last necessary haul to piece together a contender. I know writers are pressed for what topics they can cover leading up to the Super Bowl, so I cannot criticize one for covering the ‘almost-Eagles’. That said, as a fan and someone who is as excited to follow the CURRENT Eagles more than I have in quite some time, I make a request of the Eagles Nation. Stop concerning yourself with the players that the Eagles, along with 31 other teams, were unable to bring onto their roster. Instead, look at the handful of young draftees who have made it their responsibility to bring the Eagles back out of the depths of the division. One more offseason of impressive drafting, and we could be adjusting expectations for the Eagles to a level one could not even have fathomed just a year ago.