Eagles fever! Ink it in, baby
I kid you not - Eagles’ fans are begging their All-Pro center Jason Kelce to put his autograph on their babies.
“I wonder if that could be considered child abuse,” my rabid New York Giants friend asked me, only half-jokingly. I figured he was ticked off because no one was clamoring for Whitehall and Penn State graduate Saquon Barkley to put his John Henry on a little one in light of the Eagles’ 38-7 blowout win over the Giants last Saturday.
With all of the much more pressing things going on in the world these days, perhaps we need a laugh or two, but signing babies is something new to me. I’ve given considerable time to deliberating the delicacy of this issue since it came to my attention, which prompted my son to observe that I have too much time on my hands.
Just in case this fad takes off, I believe we need some guidance to follow. First of all, should there be an age limit? Is it different to pen an autograph on a 2-year-old vs. a 2-month-old?
Since babies’ skin is notoriously sensitive, what kind of pen does the signer use? Does a parent want his kid to have an indelible “Jason Kelce” on his or her backside? Are signatures permitted only on specific body parts, such as an arm or a leg, while mom or dad might think the name on junior’s backside might be cooler?
So how did something like this get started in the first place? Kelce and his equally famous brother Travis, the All-Pro tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, were pondering the question on their popular podcast: Which items would they autograph? Where would they draw the line? Both recounted some of the odd things they were asked to sign over their respective, illustrious careers. Then the trigger question came up: How about a baby? Would you autograph a baby?
“Sure,” Jason said. “Give me a baby, I’ll sign it.”
That opened the floodgates. Eagles’ fan Kyle McCorry flew from his home in Virginia to attend the Eagles-Giants divisional playoff last Saturday. After trying to get Jason’s attention for much of the game, McCorry succeeded in getting Jason to sign a baby doll, not a human baby.
As you might imagine, Eagles’ fans went nuts and are now badgering Jason to sign their real live babies. Kelce has been focused on other things, especially the San Francisco 49ers whom the Eagles will be playing at 3 p.m. Sunday in the NFC Championship Game, with the winner going to the Super Bowl on Feb. 12 against the winner of the AFC championship matchup later Sunday between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Regardless of whether the Eagles win or lose, I’m assuming that the pleas from the Eagles’ faithful to have their kids signed by Kelce will be relentless.
So let’s think about this for a minute. If you are an absolutely over-the-top Eagles’ fan, who has contracted a severe case of Super Bowl fever, would you want the 282-pound Kelce affixing his signature or even a “JC” to your kid’s bottom or some other body part?
I wonder whether the medical community will weigh in on this. How about the child welfare crowd? Most of all, I pity the poor kid whose proud parents will be showing off the autograph to admiring family members, relatives, neighbors and all curious comers.