Brent Celek, like the rest of the NFL, is in lockout limbo this week, trying to follow the twists and turns of the extended collective bargaining talks down in Washington through his Twitter feed. In the meantime, Celek kept himself busy this morning by appearing at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children for the unveiling of the $10,000 Take Flight Zone entertainment center he donated through his Take Flight Foundation. It has iPads, PlayStation Portables, Kinect games, Nintendo DS Portables and Nintendo DS systems, for use by hospitalized kids and their families.
"We'd like to get the Take Flight zones, those lockers, in all the children's hospitals (in the Philadelpahia area). That's our goal -- to impact 2 million kids and their families by 2013," the Eagles' tight end said.
Celek, 26, and his wife, Susie, are Ohio natives, but Celek said he feels strong ties to the city where he has played all four years of his pro career.
"Anytime I can make a kid smile, I'm gonna do it. I feel like the Philadelphia community has given me so much, I have to give back. It's my duty," Celek said.
Celek said he is optimistic about the labor talks, despite talk of union decertification and a lockout.
"I know it's going to get done in time. There's too much at stake for both sides," Celek said. "They'll probably just keep extending" the deadline, currently set for Friday. "We'll see. I don't see there being a lockout. If there is, I'll be really surprised."
Celek is furthering his Philly roots by investing, along with left guard Todd Herremans, in a restaurant-club in Old City, the former Crocodile, which they are renaming 879, an amalgam of theiur jersey numbers.
"I love this city. It's a fun city to live in," Celek said, as a few feet away, a toddler named Andre, hospitalized for asthma problems, chanted "E-A-G-L-E-S. "The people are great. They love the Eagles. When people are so warm to you, no matter how you feel about the area, it becomes your home."
Susie Celek recently won her boxing debut.
"I get more nervous for her than I do my own football games," Celek said.