It only took a week, but there’s finally a pundit in the sports media world willing to offer a hot take on Jason Kelce’s impassioned speech during the Eagles’ Super Bowl parade.
Kelce said he was worried about criticism over the profanity in his speech given during the parade, but I don’t think he cared how his words would hit Mike Francesa, the longtime afternoon host on WFAN in New York City who retired back in December (and was replaced by a three-person crew that includes former WIP host Chris Carlin).
Appearing on WOR 710 AM Tuesday night, Francesa, known as the “Sports Pope” in media circles, ripped Kelce and his speech to host Sal Licata, calling it “profanity-laced stupidity,” and said the Eagles lineman sounded like “a total moron.”
Francesa also compared Kelce to LeBron James, but he didn’t mean it as a compliment. Back in 2016, Francesa went into full “get off my lawn mode” and called James classless for cursing in front of “women and kids” during his own speech at a parade in Cleveland celebrating the Cavaliers’ 2016 NBA Championship.
“You got kids who take off from school, you got people who this is a life experience for them to be at a parade for a Super Bowl for a city, and you go up there and go into a 15-minute, profanity-laced tirade? It’s ridiculous,” Francesa said of Kelce’s speech, apparently unaware it only ran for just over five minutes. “If I were the owner of the team, I’d cut him.”
— Ƒunhouse (@BackAftaThis) February 14, 2018
Here’s the full transcript:
“Should have stayed home, the jerk … Why is it that I have to be in my car when these guys win championships, and they decide that they are going to grace the audience with this profanity-laced stupidity. You gotta turn it off, your kids can’t even listen it. He sounded like a total moron. How about going up there and being a champion and acting like a champion and not acting like a total moron? I turn that stuff off. I’ve seen LeBron James do that, now I’ve seen him do that. You know what? It’s not the time or place. You ever heard of winning like a champion? It was embarrassing. Somebody should have taken a hook and pulled him off.
I turned it off. I was in the car when I heard it and people were replaying it like it was the greatest thing in the world. How dumb are you to replay that? I mean, I wouldn’t give that one second airtime. That’s embarrassing. That’s not the place or the time to do that. You got kids who take off from school, you got families who this is a life experience for them to be at a parade for a Super Bowl for a city, and you get up there and go into a 15-minute, profanity-laced tirade? It’s ridiculous. No one wants to hear that. If I were the owner of the team, I’d cut him.”
His inability to pronounce “tirade” aside, Francesa might have a point if there were serious complaints about Kelce’s speech, but even the FCC told Philly.com that not too many people complained about the profanity. In fact, the only real issue is the speech was so memorable, it has dominated all the coverage of the Eagles’ parade.
I don’t think enough attention is being paid to Jeffrey Lurie’s mic drop during the parade speeches.
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) February 15, 2018
As McLane notes, a year ago Kelce was on the trade block, but moving him now would be inconceivable. So the idea that the team would cut him over a speech that was universally beloved in the city of Philadelphia seems ludicrous, even for a hot take from a retired media personality.