It’s not every day you see a burly, bearded offensive lineman reduced to tears, but when Jason Kelce’s Super Bowl dream became a reality with the Eagles Sunday night, there wasn’t anything he could do to hold back his emotion.
Philadelphia’s All-Pro center choked up while explaining his thoughts to reporters after the Eagles stunned the Patriots with a 41-33 win in Super Bowl LII, the first in franchise history.
“Last two weeks after we won (against the Falcons and Vikings), I found myself in the shower crying, dreaming of this moment,” Kelce said, fighting tears. “You work so hard your whole life to get here, everything culminates.”
Kelce, the Eagles’ sixth-round pick in 2011, said he’s used motivation from his parents and grandfather to guide him in his career, from his collegiate years at Cincinnati playing without a Division I scholarship to the pinnacle of the NFL.
“My father and mother told me to stay after my dream,” he said. “And I’ve officially accomplished the best thing in this sport with a group of guys who mean the world to me.”Kelce added that his team’s status as underdogs — which began with pessimistic preseason predictions and continued with the injury blow to quarterback Carson Wentz in December — has made the win over the reigning champs even sweeter.
“The resiliency of this team is incredible,” Kelce said. “We’ve all talked about it, but we you really sit back and think — a lot of you guys picked us to finish dead last in the NFC East. As the season went along nobody gave us any inclination that we were the best team in the NFL, especially after injuries started happening, which is understandable. But the fact that we were able to overcome everything — I can’t help but be a little bit emotional.”
Kelce will have plenty of time to take it all in — the parade through Philadelphia later this week should help.