Picture this: a group of Philadelphia Eagles players walks into a bar on a random Thursday night in 2011. Two of them proceed to start downing shots even though the team has to hit the field for practice the next day. Not to worry, they have a well-researched plan to avoid a nasty hangover.
The drinking hole — owned by former Eagles Todd Herremans and Brent Celek — was called Bar 879. The mastermind behind the plan was former quarterback Vince Young — the final piece of the infamous Dream Team — and the other guy was a rookie center named Jason Kelce.
Vince Young, he’s in this bar, full three-piece suit. I think I’m in sandals and sweatpants, He said, ‘Hey rookie, come over here’ — and we go over to the bar and he, Vince, he says,” Okay, I’m going to show you how we drink in the NFL.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, Vince, Okay.’ I don’t even know what to expect. And Vince proceeds to order two shots of Patron and two Ketel on ice. We take the shot of Patron and he says, ‘Now this Ketel, you’re just going to sip it, there’s no sugar in it, so you won’t get a hangover, you’ll be good for practice tomorrow.
What do they say about the best-laid plans? A lot of times they go by the wayside but the connection between teammates was real. Kelce continued:
Bro, within 5 minutes he had downed all the Ketel and was ready to do another one. And Vince, I still love you. I will go out and play football with you any day of the week, one of my favorite teammates. The real thing is really getting to know people, being able to open yourself up outside of the game of football and who you are as a person. That lends itself to people connecting on a deeper level and I firmly believe that leads to a deeper connection.
Jason Kelce Credits Jalen Hurts for ‘Saving’ Eagles
The Eagles barely held on to dispatch the Detroit Lions in Week 1. Jalen Hurts accounted for 333 total yards, picking up six first downs with his legs. He was the reason why the Eagles staved off a major upset, according to Kelce.
“I think if we don’t have Jalen Hurts in that game, they probably do beat us,” Kelce said, via New Heights podcast. “Jalen has faced a lot of criticism this offseason, really his whole career … and it’s going to continue. He’s only in his third year, he’s got a lot of football left in him, and this is the way the league works, it’s always coming after you.”
Kelce admitted that the Eagles didn’t do a good enough job communicating, pinning the brunt of the blame on himself. He’s the lead communicator out there.
“We did not do a good enough job communicating,” Kelce said. “There were too many mistakes offensively. My job is to be the communicator, to make sure everybody is on the same page. Detroit made it difficult, it was loud, kudos to them for putting together a tough environment at Ford Field. But we gotta be better, and that’s something that we’ll be focusing on next week for Minnesota.”
Malcolm Rodriguez Hip Tossed Kelce: Huzzah!
Malcolm Rodriguez, aka Rodrigo, was the breakout star on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” show. The rookie linebacker went from sixth-round project to Week 1 starter. And Rodriguez made every snap count on Sunday, especially the one where he drove Kelce back into the end zone with an impressive hip toss move.
“It was good. I thought I had him,” Kelce said of Rodriguez. “I was driving him in the end zona and right at the last second, Huzzah! He gave me a nice Judo hip toss. I did not see it coming. It was impressive.”
The Eagles center walked away very impressed. Kelce called Rodriguez a “good player” and sees a bright future ahead for him.