Super Bowl: Kelce brothers root for each other as teams prepare to battle

Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce speaks to reporters at Super Bowl LVII Opening Night on Monday at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce speaks to reporters at Super Bowl LVII Opening Night on Monday at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

PHOENIX, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Jason Kelce and Travis Kelce won't discuss strategies for when the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs battle Sunday in Super Bowl LVII. But the brothers said they still will root for each other.

The Kelces spoke about their feelings ahead of the game when they met with reporters Monday and Tuesday. They will be the first pair of siblings in NFL history to compete in a Super Bowl, set for Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.


"We both realize that for somebody, it's not going to go well," Jason told reporters Monday at Opening Night at the Footprint Center in Phoenix.

"I know it sounds crazy, but we are both still rooting for each other."

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The Kelces have always been close. They played football together as children, through high school and at the University of Cincinnati.


They then went on to become arguably the most decorated brothers in league history.

Jason's NFL resume includes six Pro Bowl selections, five All-Pro nods and a Super Bowl title over 12 seasons. Travis, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, was selected for four All-Pro teams and won one Vince Lombardi Trophy in his 10 seasons.

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The Chiefs tight end also has a 2-0 record against his brother's Eagles. That edge in the brothers' battle isn't a fact lost on Jason.

"Eventually, somebody will have the ultimate bragging rights," Jason said. "He has more Pro Bowls, he is going to the Hall of Fame as a first-ballot selection and is arguably the best tight end of all time.

"He is better looking and better at dancing. Give me one thing. I want more Super Bowls."

The Eagles are slight favorites to beat the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII. Travis said Monday that he would like to focus on the in-game strategy more than the sibling rivalry, but he continued to be peppered with questions about the storyline Tuesday.


"It's a special moment," Travis said. "It's something we will remember for the rest of our lives. But I'm focused on making it a Chiefs win and not necessarily a win for a Kelce on this side. I'm trying to get a win for the Chiefs."

Their mother, Donna, said Monday that her game day plan will be to "scream really loud" whenever either team had the ball.

"It's just amazing that they've been able to both get to this point in their careers and both enjoy the Super Bowl together," she said on the Opening Night broadcast on Fox, ESPN and NFL Network.

Donna and husband Ed raised Jason and Travis in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. The Kelce brothers said they often fought growing up, with the elder Jason winning most of the scuffles. They admitted that Travis instigated many of those run-ins.

Brothers driven to compete

"It was chaos, but enjoyable chaos," Jason said of his early relationship with Travis. "It was a lot of fun, a lot of broken windows and shattered things around the house that my parents had to deal with.

"It was one thing after the other. We played as many sports as you can play, music, martial arts. ... We did everything. My parents really invested in us."


Jason, 35, said his physical scuffles with Travis, 33, ended when they entered their teenage years.

"I had the advantage until puberty hit," Jason said. "Until about 13 years old, I was undefeated in fights."

Travis now stands at 6-foot-5, 256 pounds. Jason, the anchor of the Eagles offensive line, is listed at 6-foot-3, 295 pounds.

The spark that fueled those early fighting flames remains, however, according to Travis.

The brothers now can channel that into being the best at their respective positions. But they won't likely face each other on Sunday, since they both play on offense. Instead, their ferocity will be spent on would-be-tacklers and pass-rushers.

"We are similar in our competitiveness," Travis told reporters Tuesday. "We put a lot of passion into things. Whatever we are doing we want to be the best at. We want to be the greatest."

The Kelce family, and Cleveland Heights community, is split on whom to root for in the big game. Their alma mater, Cleveland Heights High School, plans to light up pillars and a clock tower alternating between Chiefs and Eagles colors.

Donna has been wearing custom clothes split with logos from both teams and said she was elated when her both boys' teams clinched spots in the Super Bowl.

She also is the subject of a petition, with nearly 175,000 people urging that she be allowed to flip the coin as part of Sunday's pregame ceremony.

"You can't tell my mom anything right now," Travis said. "She is just a superstar. It has been really cool to see her in that light."


Travis will likely be easier for fans to spot Sunday. The tight end, who wears No. 87 for the Chiefs, figures to be a top target of star quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

As the center, Jason, who wears No. 62, will touch the ball on every snap. But he'll also block for quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Travis, who has the "bigger personality" of the brothers, according to Jason, also is known to celebrate his plays more on the field.

No coach knows the brothers more than Chiefs coach Andy Reid., who was head coach of the Eagles during Jason's first two seasons. He also was part of the staff that selected Jason in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Two years later, Reid was among the Chiefs' decision-makers who snagged Travis in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Reid said premier talent was his first takeaway when he scouted the Kelce brothers. He then noticed their athleticism.

He said Travis always displayed terrific hands and fluidity in route running and movement. Reid noticed Jason's footwork, ability to create leverage and speed, uncharacteristic of a center.

But it was the fire that drove the Kelces to squabble as youngsters, and still lives on inside their minds today, that the coach liked most.


"Those two are special," Reid said. "They are smart guys. They love to play the game, are very tough and can compete with the best of them. They will get after it on Sunday."

Super Bowl LVII week begins with Opening Night event

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes speaks to the media at the Super Bowl LVII Opening Night event at the Footprint Center in Phoenix on February 6, 2023. The Kansas City Chiefs will will play the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on February 12. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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