Super Bowl Champion Jason Kelce’s Speech Evoked Rocky, but it was his Mummers Costume that Set the Internet Ablaze
Bobby Coyle was practicing with the Avalon String Band on Tuesday night when, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, he got an unexpected phone call from his wife, Libby.
“Do you happen to have a Mummer suit for someone who’s 6 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs about 300 pounds?” she asked Coyle, who is the business manager and a member-at-large of the string band brigade. “Jason Kelce wants to wear one to the parade on Thursday.”
Mummers, who parade down Broad Street every New Year’s Day in colorful costumes and put on elaborate performances in front of City Hall, are a staple in Philadelphia culture.
Kelce, a member of the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles, had been chatting with his teammates about what to wear to the upcoming championship parade. Others went for Allen Iverson jerseys and fur shawls, but Kelce wanted something that was colorful and unique to the city – and he had an in with the Mummers.
As it turned out, Lindsey Coyle – the lady who cuts Kelce’s hair – was married to one, and she hooked up the now-iconic outfit for Kelce, just in time for the big parade.
On the heels of the Philadelphia Eagles’ storybook Super Bowl victory over Tom Brady’s New England Patriots, the City of Brotherly Love threw one hell of a party through Broad Street in the form of a Championship Parade yesterday.
The parade attracted in excess of one million revelers as it wound through downtown Philadelphia before culminating at the courthouse steps made popular in the 1976 Oscar-winning film “Rocky”, which launched the acting and directing career of Sylvester Stalone as well as a box office franchise that continues today with 2015’s Oscar Winner “Creed”.
The City turned out in style for the parade, which featured floats, costumes, bands and – of course – confetti. Many revelers and players chose to garb themselves in costumes or outfits that paid homage to Phildalphia’s storied sports and cultural traditions and histories.
But it was the Eagle’s center Jason Kelce who truly floored the adoring crowd, when he took the podium atop the Rocky steps in authentic Mummer regalia before delivering a ground-shaking populist sports stem-winder of a speech, grounded in Philly’s iconic underdog status.
While Kelce’s speech has since dominated sports radio, his costume took off and dominated the blogosphere, begging the questions: “What the hell is a Mummer?” and “Why is he wearing that outfit?”. More on that here.