Jason Kelce's Beard gets an interview

Kelce, the man, sporting our interviewee, the beard, at Eagles training camp. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Kelce, the man, sporting our interviewee, the beard, at Eagles training camp. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Posted: August 06, 2012

For a temporary decoration on the face of a sixth-round, second-year offensive lineman, Jason Kelce's Beard is doing well for itself. Not as well as Kelce, who started every game as a rookie and advanced to rank among the elite centers in the NFL, but better than, say, Michael Vick's goatee or Chase Utley's soul patch.

For instance, Jason Kelce's Beard — grown from a tight GQ scruff to a fluffy, brownish-red biker/Santa flourish over the past year — has more than 1,000 Twitter followers (@JkelceBeard). While that is 12,500 fewer than Kelce, even Kelce acknowledged that the Beard might be a wittier tweeter.

Marcus Hayes caught up with the Beard this week at Eagles training camp at Lehigh for a few questions. The Beard obliged, with one stipulation: Kelce could listen in.

1 A few months ago you allowed kids at the Eagles Youth Partnership's annual playground build to paint you pink. Will you consider future colorings?

It was more an impulse decision to go pink at that certain time. The kids wanted to paint it. The Beard's always trying to please. I might do a little somethin'-somethin' around Christmastime.

2 Opponents pull you. Teammates too, at practice. Do you, maybe, like it? Are you worried about the pulls leading to a neck injury to Kelce or, worse, big clumps of you coming out?

Honestly, I don't even notice it, because everything's happening so fast during the play. I notice it more during offensive/defensive line drills. I don't worry about injuries, but that's the one thing that keeps me awake at night: Somebody grabbing me and ripping me off, leaving a huge patch on Jason Kelce's face.

3 Kelce played better as last year progressed … and as you grew out. Do you infuse him with special powers? Superpowers?

I think I do. Not only do I intimidate people and make him look stronger — maybe this is a placebo effect — but he says he feels a lot stronger. I can't make him fly. But he might be bulletproof.

4 Despite your presence, the Eagles went 8-8 last year. Clearly, Kelce looks stronger, fitter, etcetera. What did you do to get better?

I was very upset with 8-8. Part of the off-season agenda was to address this with Kelce: I wanted a bigger hold over the relationship. So we agreed to grow me out.

5 So, how much is enough? ZZ Top? Rip Van Winkle? Do the ladies like it?

Kelce will not shave me or trim me until after this season, at least. Kelce does not have a significant other, and, honestly, the response to me has been better than you would think.

I figure 5 percent of women I meet out like a beard. But there's only 1 percent of beards out there as full as me. It's a narrow market, sure, but I'm cleaning up in that market. It's good to have a niche.

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