The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

An Eagle has left the nest…

Jason Kelce announces his official retirement

After a whopping 13-season NFL career, Philadelphia Eagles center, Jason Kelce, officially announced his retirement during a deeply emotional press conference on March 4. 

“Donning a cutoff shirt and trademark beard speckled with white on the cheeks, Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro center Jason Kelce couldn’t get through 10 words before tearing up, needing to gather himself as he prepared to give the final speech of his NFL career, in which he officially announced his retirement on Monday. A Hall of Fame-worthy speech, an emotional Kelce spent roughly 45 minutes thanking everyone who touched his life throughout his football journey, from coaches and even the band teacher growing up to those who nurtured his career at Cincinnati to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman and the teammates and coaches he battled with during his professional career,” NFL writer and contributor, Kevin Patra, described. 

Ever since the Eagles’ tough loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this year in January, there has been plenty of speculation that the 36-year-old offensive lineman would be retiring soon, and that his game against the Buccaneers was likely his final showdown. 

“The longtime Philly offensive lineman might be hanging up his cleats after a stellar career at center, as the Eagles’ loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC wild-card round on Monday night looked to have been his last go-around on the playing field,” For The Win website contributor, Cory Woodroof, reported on Jan. 15. “After the game, Kelce made sure to go see his family in the stands and share a moment with them as he exited the field for possibly the last time. It was a short-but-sweet moment that capped what was surely an emotional night for the Eagles legend and his family.”

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Kelce’s friends, family, teammates, and supporters were all in attendance at his retirement press conference, which kicked off after a brief moment of tears, raw emotion, and vulnerability. 

Following this ultra-authentic moment of bittersweet sadness and passion, Kelce then proceeded to narrate his football career testimony and preach his everlasting thanks to his supporters for the remaining 40 minutes of his press conference. 

“I’ve been asked many times why did I choose football — what drew me to the game — and I never have an answer that gets it right. The best way I could explain it is what draws you to your favorite song… your favorite book… It’s what it makes you feel — the seriousness of it. The intensity of it,” Kelce explained during his press conference. “Stepping on the field was the most alive and free I had ever felt. There was a visceral feeling with football, unlike any sport. The hairs on my arms would stand up. I could hit somebody, run around like a crazed lunatic and then get told, ‘Good job.’ I love football.”

Throughout the press conference, Kelce was sure to give numerous shoutouts and heartfelt thanks to the people who helped him become the father, athlete, and individual that he is today, most notably his brother, Travis Kelce. 

“There is no chance I would be here without the bond Travis and I share,” Kelce said. “It made me stronger, tougher, smarter and taught me the values of cooperation, loyalty, patience and understanding. It’s only too poetic I found my career being fulfilled in the City of Brotherly Love. I knew that relationship all too well.”

Despite his retirement, many fans are hoping that this is not the last that they will hear of Jason Kelce and his football reputation. To the excitement and anticipation of Kelce enthusiasts, it is increasingly likely that he will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame sometime in the future. 

“Likely a future Pro Football Hall of Famer, Kelce is a seven-time Pro Bowler and six-time All-Pro selection. He spent his entire 13-season NFL career with the Eagles, including the team’s 2018 Super Bowl win,” CNN Sports writers, Ben Morse and George Ramsay, explained. 

In the span of these past couple years, Jason Kelce and his family — composed of his wife, Kylie McDevitt Kelce, and their three daughters, Wyatt Elizabeth, Elliotte Ray and Bennett Llewellyn — have reached a soft spot in many people’s hearts. Those who are fond of him, his legacy, his infamous pre-game outfits, and/or the football community as a whole are wishing him that happiest, healthiest, and most fulfilling retirement. 

For information regarding Jason Kelce’s retirement, please visit,, and

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Campbell Burnett
Campbell Burnett, Content Editor

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