How Jason Kelce Ended Up in a Mummers Costume - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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How Jason Kelce Ended Up in a Mummers Costume

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    The Story Behind Kelce's Parade Outfit

    Jason Kelce delivered an intense, memorable speech at Thursday's parade, but his outfit may have stolen his thunder. Where did that outfit come from? NBC10's Tim Furlong shows us.

    (Published Friday, Feb. 9, 2018)

    On Tuesday night, as Bob Coyle was practicing with the other members of the Avalon String Band, he got a call from his wife Libby that sent him down into the basement of their headquarters at 2nd and Tasker in South Philly. 

    The phone call became a mission. 

    "She says, listen, ‘Do you have a Mummers suit for someone who's 6-foot-4, 300 pounds,'" Coyle recalled on Thursday night. "I said, honey, who the f--- needs that?"

    The answer, of course, was Jason Kelce. 

    Libby began cutting Kelce's hair around six years ago when the Eagles' center moved to the city and the two have become close friends in the years since. On Tuesday, Kelce called her and said the players were coming up with different ideas of what to wear for the parade in a couple days and he thought about a Mummers costume. 

    So Coyle headed down to the basement and found one of about a half dozen costumes left over from the string band's 2008 "Ire-land of Leprechauns" performance. The actual costume belonged to musical director Jim Crompton, who played college football himself.  

    "Jimmy's a big dude," Coyle said, "but it fit Jason perfectly." 

    Crompton, 33, is a big dude. He's 6-foot-5 and is anywhere from around 275-300 pounds. After playing high school football at Archbishop Wood, he went on to play right tackle at Lycoming College. 

    So with the big costume in tow, Libby showed up to the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday to cut Kelce's hair and then to help him squeeze himself into the giant leprechaun costume. Bob joked that she helps him get into his suit every year, so she was able to help Kelce too. 

    "It fit him like a glove," Coyle said of the costume that Kelce wore in front of millions of people on Thursday afternoon, "and he fell in love with it immediately." 

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    On Tuesday night, Crompton started to get hints that Kelce might wear his old costume and then on Wednesday he saw photos of Kelce trying it on. 

    He still wasn't sold. 

    "I really didn't think he was going to do it," Crompton said. "We have some friends who are in the band who are police officers at the stadium and they sent pictures out saying he was in full-on suit. It was pretty cool. The whole day was just amazing."

    And it wasn't just that Kelce wore his costume for the parade. Kelce was wearing it when he gave one of the most epic and passionate speeches in Philadelphia sports history. 

    Kelce shouted into the microphone about what it meant to be an underdog and, of course, dropped a few F-bombs along the way. 

    "Yeah, that's going to go down in the books. That speech was epic," Crompton said. "I think it kind of rang true for a lot of the members of the Avalon too. We've been kind of struggling the last couple years, have been the underdogs along with them. We definitely know where he was coming from with that speech. It had a lot of depth for us."

    Coyle said it was especially neat seeing that speech come from such a genuine guy in one of his band's costumes.  

    It's pretty clear Kelce's speech - and that costume - are going to be remembered. 

    "Here we are, it's 10 years after Chase Utley and we still talk about that," Coyle said. "That was a great speech. But this speech that Kelce gave today, I mean, you could tell it was from the heart, it wasn't scripted and it was spot on. It couldn't have been any more Philly."