Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce is soaking up every moment he has left in the NFL.
The Eagles' once-promising season came to an abrupt end in the NFC Wild Card Round against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As the clock ticked down, it was evident that it would likely be Kelce's final seconds on the fields.
It was an emotional and teary-eyed night, but Kelce wasn't going to leave fans on a sad note. The following week, he was caught celebrating when his brother, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, caught a touchdown during the Chiefs' 27-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Divisional Round. The shirtless and inebriated Kelce — now available as a Funko Pop! —made it clear that his retirement would be joyous, not melancholy.
This week, Kelce brought his family to Orlando and participated in the 2024 NFL Pro Bowl — his last opportunity to take part in the celebratory games if he does retire. The Pro Bowl's obstacle courses are just the first of many hurdles that retirement will bring.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen for me,” Jason told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I do know, I still want to be involved in the [Philadelphia Eagles] organization and still want to be a part of it, regardless of what the decision is.”
Eagles center Jason Kelce hopes to revive a classic game after retirement
On the latest episode of the New Heights podcast, Kelce revealed another plan he had for his future. Kelce said he wanted to revive a classic computer game known as "Backyard Baseball."
“I don’t even know if I want to mention this," Jason said on the podcast. "I’ve secretly been looking into seeing if anybody holds the rights to Backyard Baseball and Backyard Football because I want to buy it and get this thing going again. That was the best thing ever! It was so electric. Can you imagine playing Backyard Football right now on your phone? You could do that whole thing on your phone. It wasn’t that complicated of a game.”
Backyard Baseball was created by Humongous Entertainment, a company that created point-and-click computer games for simplistic entertainment. The success of Backyard Baseball led to spin-offs with other sports. One of those spin-offs was Backyard Football, which included NFL players as kids.
The developer initially belonged to GT Interactive, a subsidiary of Atari, but went through several corporate mergers and sell-offs over the years. The rights to Backyard Baseball and its associated titles currently belong to The Evergreen Group, a private equity firm.
As the 36-year-old transitions to the next stage in life, he'll have to find things to replace the adrenaline and thrill of football. In some ways, he has already gotten ahead of that. The New Heights podcast, hosted by the Kelce brothers, has become one of the most successful sports podcasts since it began last season. Some rumors suggest that Kelce could have a future in television, where former NFL players like Michael Strahan, Nate Burleson and Tony Romo have thrived as analysts, broadcasters and hosts. Perhaps video games are the future, as they were for legendary coach John Madden.
Unfortunately for Kelce, someone else already thought about bringing the game to mobile devices. "Backyard Sports: Baseball 2015" was a mobile game available on iOS and Android devices. The game was published by Fingerprint Network.
Still, there is a chance for revival, especially with a name like Kelce behind the marketing.