I know, crazy, right? Despite having traded the team’s one-time franchise quarterback all the way back in March, any time you moseyed on down to the Philadelphia Sports Complex to catch a Sixers game, a Phillies game, or just to grab a beverage at Xfinity Live, ole number 11 would be smiling down at you from the side of the stadium, whether you liked it or not.
For hardened Wentz fans who still rue that fated day back in March, this must have felt like a constant headache, and for Hurtsaholics who offered to drive Carson to the airport personally? Well, they probably hated it just as much, if not even more so.
But now that the banner is officially down, what will the Eagles replace it with? Will they go all-in on their new QB1? Or what about a franchise legend? Could they instead hang a generic Super Bowl banner honoring their lone win on the game’s grandest stage?
For my money, the choice is obvious: Put up a banner of Jason Kelce.
Kelce deserves to be immortalized by the Philadelphia Eagles in banner form.
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Jason Kelce has been a member of the Philadelphia Eagles since 2011.
He’s appeared in 142 of a possible 160 games, started all 16 games in eight of his 10 professional seasons, and has four Pro Bowls and three All-Pro appearances to his name, the most of any active player on the roster today.
A sixth-round pick out of Cincinnati, Kelce started all 16 games for Andy Reid as a rookie and continued in that role under Chip Kelly, Pat Schumer – for a game – and Doug Pederson. He’s snapped balls for 18 different passers, played under two different offensive line coaches, and yet, through it all, Kelce has remained a dominant zone blocker versus both the pass and the run and one of the best pull blockers on the business.
Do some scoff at Kelce for his lack of elite size or occasional struggles against supersized nose tackles? Sure, many a Dallas fan would lord Travis Frederick‘s size over Kelce whenever the two were compared, but it’s hard to find another center over the same timeframe who was so gosh darn consistent for a decade straight.
Though he’s continued to suggest a retirement may be right around the corner – forcing the Eagles to draft Isaac Seumalo and then Landon Dickerson as potential in-house replacements – you’d be hard-pressed to find a player more universally beloved by the entirety of the Eagles fanbase than Travis’ brother.
So, just hear me out, why not immortalize that goodwill for the foreseeable future with a banner on the side of the Linc?
(Insert shrug emoji here.)
Now sure, as previously stated, Kelce is on the back nine of his NFL playing career and will eventually join the Eagles’ alumni list before we know it. Assuming such a banner is exorbitantly expensive – if such a thing exists for a sports franchise worth well over $2.75 billion – it may make more sense to invest in a vinyl depiction of a player in his early 20s like Jalen Hurts, Miles Sanders, or even DeVonta Smith, who has yet to log a snap in a midnight green uniform.
If that’s how you feel, I get it, but riddle me this: Do you think Kelce is going to become less popular once his playing days are over? Barring a surprise decision to play for the Cowboys, I really can’t see that happening.
No, we are truly watching the final act of a franchise legend who will surely have his number 62 jersey retired when his playing days are done and could potentially find himself immortalized forever in the halls of Canton shortly thereafter.
If that player isn’t worthy of a banner, who on earth is?
Jason Kelce has a signature Mummers suit, multiple signature beers, and a guest appearance on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia to his credit. He’s about as universally loved a player as you’ll find and will never have to buy a drink for the rest of his life in the greater limits of the City of Brotherly Love. Whether or not he gets a banner outside of the Linc will have literally zero impact on his legacy, but after having to wipe away the final totem of one of the most maddening assertions in franchise history, why not immortalize a Philadelphia Eagles legend outside the stadium for the foreseeable future? I can’t think of another player who would generate more universal goodwill.