The lab-concocted smoothies. The strategic practice times. The secretive cue cards. Chip Kelly has hammered an axe of change into the heart of the Eagles’ organization. A man providing this affect is portrayed as a thinker, or an intellectual.

Both terms are synonymic of a philosopher. Like the great Confucius, the wise Aristotle, or the gregarious John Locke, Chip Kelly has become a public theorist. His obscure decisions have shifted the landscape of traditional football coaching.

Kelly’s unique lifestyle regimen embodies the teachings of Confucianism. The coach insists that players achieve proper amounts of sleep on a daily basis. More so than average citizens, Kelly believes that “An elite athlete needs between 10-12 hours a night.” In addition, Kelly is streamlining the nutrition found in the NovaCare Complex. Fast food has been eliminated from the menu. Following practice, each player receives healthy, personalized smoothies. These smoothies are no creamy delight found at Yogo Factory: they are organic, natural, and nutritious throughout every single ingredient. The revamped nutrition follows the path of the great Confucius: content and healthy people in society. The philosopher honored rituals that bettered the health of society; likewise, Kelly has ritualized these processes into daily routine, keeping the Eagle “society” healthy.

The Eagles’ recent flush of versatility resembles the beliefs of one Aristotle. This offseason, Chip Kelly acquired players such as James Casey and Connor Barwin. Casey can play tight end, half back, and even split out as a receiver; in comparison, Barwin resembles a light cheetah, able to pass rush with pace and cover with agility. Kelly explained Tuesday, “When you only have 46 guys active on gameday, you have to have versatility in your non-starters because there’s not just enough numbers.” Kelly sees potential in athletic talent. His appreciation of such potential allows Aristotle to sleep peacefully in his grave. Aristotle valued the possibilities of matter; similarly, he felt that “thus, a block of marble — matter — has the potential to assume whatever form a sculptor gives it”(UC Berkeley). Kelly’s ideas are not far off from those that penned Aristotle into world history.

Of a more recent time, John Locke lived in a European tug-of-war over human rights. Locke believed that each individual is born with “natural rights.” Regardless of class or social status, each member of society remained on even keel based on Locke’s preachings. Chip Kelly also donated each player their own “natural rights” through competition. The greatest example of this was illustrated in the quarterback race, where Kelly impartially evaluated the candidates “I looked at how he can throw, beat people with his feet.” Obviously, Kelly and John Locke felt that each person should begin on flat ground. From there, the sky is the limit.

Kelly’s opinions are both fascinating and inspiring. His beliefs and motives rival philosophers idolized in society. Should Kelly succeed, his own beliefs may one day be honored and enshrined not only in Philadelphia, but worldwide.

Photo: Jeannie Edwards

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