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Jason Kelce tearfully thanks wife Kylie Kelce during Philadelphia Eagles retirement speech

The NFL star tearfully thanked his wife for giving him "a life that increasingly brings me more fulfillment off the field than it does on."
/ Source: TODAY

Jason Kelce honored his wife Kylie Kelce during his emotional NFL retirement speech on March 4.

The Philadelphia Eagles center tearfully recalled meeting the former Kylie McDevitt at Buffalo Billiards in Philadelphia, while hanging out with his teammates after their 2014 holiday party.

"That night, I'd meet my future wife," said Jason Kelce, struggling to hold back tears.

"I still remember the moment she walked through the door. The first instance is burned in my retina," he continued. "It was like she glided through the opening, an aura around her."

Jason Kelce went on to compare the experience of meeting Kylie Kelce to love at first sight.

Jason Kelce and Kylie Kelce
Jason Kelce and Kylie Kelce during the premiere of the "Kelce" documentary on Sept. 8, 2023 in Philadelphia, PA.Cooper Neill / Getty Images

"Then she started talking and I thought, 'Man, is this what love feels like?'" he recalled. "She was beautiful and smart, serious yet playful. I knew it right away.

The athlete credited his wife with not only making him feel personally fulfilled but also improving his football game.

"I think it's no coincidence I have enjoyed my best years of my career with Kylie by my side," he said. "Every accolade I have ever received has come with her in my life. She has brought the best out of me with love, devotion, support, honesty, intelligence, and, of course, a swift kick in the a-- from time to time."

Jason Kelce also thanked his wife for the couple's three daughters: Wyatt, 4, Elliotte, who turned 3 on March 4, and Bennett, 1.

"She has also given me three beautiful girls and a life that increasingly brings me more fulfillment off the field than it does on," he said, adding, "We've had a great run, Ky."

Before meeting in person in 2014, Jason Kelce and Kylie Kelce connected on Tinder, the couple revealed on Jason and his brother Travis Kelce’s joint podcast “New Heights” in September 2023.

Kylie Kelce had no idea at the time that her future husband was an NFL player.

Kylie Kelce said she didn’t know who Kelce was, since none of his pictures had photos from the Philadelphia Eagles.

“Well, his profile at the time was something to the effect of: ‘I want to have deep meaningful conversations and talk about getting married and having kids’ or something like that,” she recalled during her podcast appearance.

Though Jason Kelce ended up getting drunk during their first date, both were intrigued.

“Not a good first date,” Jason Kelce recalled during the episode. “(I) got a little bit too inebriated, but I was sober enough to know it was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen in my life. It was love at first sight,” he said.

In 2015, Kylie Kelce shared a photo of her and her future husband with the caption, “Thank goodness you swiped right.”

The couple tied the knot in Philadelphia in 2018 and went on to welcome their three daughters.

The pair spoke to TODAY in September 2023 about the “secret” to their six-year marriage.

“We do our absolute best to communicate (with) each other,” Kylie Kelce said of the pair's union.

Jason Kelce added, “We’re the most important thing in both of our lives. Everything else takes a back seat.”