The End of an Era

It’s not often that a retirement press conference is held for a center in football. However, not many centers are like Jason Kelce. The older of the Kelce brothers, who have become a household name among NFL fans in recent years, has officially hung up his cleats and said his goodbye to football. In a 40-minute press conference that started and ended in tears, the seven-time Pro Bowler recounted his first moments of falling in love with the game. 

Kelce, a Cleveland Heights native, wasn’t a surefire ticket to the NFL in his college days. In fact, Kelce was a walk-on at the University of Cincinnati (UC.) “I’d have to earn everything, and that’s good, because I had no clue what hard work was yet. Knowing that I had to earn my respect made me work harder than ever before.” said Kelce. After red-shirting his freshman year at UC, Kelce’s life would be changed forever at the suggestion of assistant coach Paul Longo. “You’d make a great center,” said Longo. A suggestion that Kelce balked at. 

That following spring, Kelce found himself playing center. The move would lead him to have an amazing college career that proved good enough to impress NFL scouts and get his name called by the Philadelphia Eagles. A team in a city that Kelce would call home for 13 seasons. Kelce recounted the moments during those 13 seasons that he’d never forget. Highs, and lows. 

Kelce is a hall-of-famer, there is no doubt. There is even an argument for him to be the greatest center of all time. During the press conference however, it was his genuine, unfiltered emotions of man saying goodbye to his first love that gave anyone that has ever played a sport the ability to understand and feel for Kelce. That’s what makes Kelce so special. 

“I think one of the best things a person can be in this world is a father,” said Kelce. Now, after seven Pro Bowls, six first team All-Pro seasons, 193 total games, 156 consecutive starts and a Super Bowl championship. That’s exactly what Kelce gets to be. A father to three beautiful young girls. 

Photo Credits: MSN

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