Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, and Jordan Mailata are known for their careers in the NFL, having played for the Philadelphia Eagles since 2011, 2013, and 2018, respectively. Last year, however, they made a name for themselves outside of football and ventured into the realm of – and this is probably the most unexpected thing I’ve ever been tasked to write for the WXPN website – Christmas music. And, they’ll be back for more later this year.

‘Twas two nights before Christmas when A Philly Special Christmas graced the airwaves in 2022. With seven covers of classic Christmas hits, these three esteemed athletes were joined by Eagles play-by-play announcer Merrill Reese and Philly music legend Lady Alma to create the holiday album nobody knew they wanted, but absolutely needed. Through record sales, the trio was able to amass $1.25 million dollars to go toward local charities and businesses. This year’s sequel, A Philly Special Christmas Special, is sure to pack an even bigger punch with collaborators such as Patti Labelle, Amos Lee, The Hooters’ Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman, DMHotep of Sun Ra Arkestra, Kevin Hanson of The Fractals and Huffamoose, Luke Carlos O’Reilly, Waxahatchee, members of The War on Drugs, Dr. Dog, mewithoutYou, and The Silver Ages Choir. Additionally, all the proceeds will once again be donated to local causes, with a goal of surpassing last year’s total.

Still can’t believe it? Just wait – there’s more.

Starting November 3rd and for a limited time, you can order a red vinyl of A Philly Special Christmas Special, alongside a limited edition gold vinyl double disc of both the 2022 and 2023 albums, from the project’s website. Though the concept might seem a bit absurd to some, taking a listen to these records will show you the genuine passion that went into the project, both in terms of its creation and its purpose. Kelce, Johnson, and Mailata have a real love for the community they’re in, and it shines through every track. Below, you can check out a mini-documentary about last year’s album recording process, and make sure to keep an eye out for the vinyl release this November.

A Philly Special Christmas Mini Doc