KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Travis Kelce’s mom said she’ll be at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday evening cheering on her son in his fourth straight AFC Divisional Championship Game.
The adventure making kickoff for the game against Buffalo won’t be anything compared to what she conquered last weekend.
The journey began when Donna Kelce looked at the NFL schedule and discovered that sons Jason and Travis would both play on the same day during Super Wildcard Weekend. Jason, a center for the Philadelphia Eagles, was scheduled to start in the 12 p.m. CT game in Tampa. Travis, a tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, wouldn’t play until seven hours later in Kansas City. But the two games were taking place 1,200 miles apart.
“Could I pull it off because both of the games are on the same day? When I saw that I was a little depressed last week and and just trying to figure out how I was going to make both of them,” Kelce said.
For Kelce, it turned out, where there’s a will, a rickshaw, Uber, airports and planes, there is also a way.
“You don’t know when their careers could end, and so you want to try to get, I mean after nine years, you just want to go to them all because you don’t know when it’s gonna end. So I really wanted to support both of them,” Kelce said.
Supporting both of her sons led to some crazy travel plans that included nearly every type of transportation possible to get from Tampa to Kansas City.
“I was on monorails between terminals and rickshaws and planes and buses, taxis, Ubers, you name it. I was probably on everything except for a boat. Basically, it was it was a riot,” Kelce said.
Once she realized that Raymond James Stadium is only about a mile from Tampa International airport, and there was an available flight to Kansas City after the game, Kelce said she knew it was possible to make both games.
“If I stayed at the airport at the hotel, then I could store my luggage and make it and it actually worked because it’s it was so close. And it was a direct flight. So I made it work,” Kelce said.
It wasn’t perfect. The flight was delayed and it’s almost 30-miles from KCI Airport to Arrowhead Stadium. Kelce ended up missing most of the Chiefs game, including Travis’ touchdown catch. But, she did make it to her seat minutes before the Chiefs decided to run a trick play that ended with Travis finding Byron Pringle in the end zone for his first NFL touchdown completion. The throw made good on something Travis told his mom decades ago that he would do.
After the long, crazy day, Kelce stayed at Arrowhead following the game to surprise Travis. The Chiefs allowed her to ask her son the first question of the night.
“What’s up mom? Glad you made it,” Travis Kelce said and grinned after hearing his mom’s name.
Kelce’s question was a simple one. She asked Travis how it felt to finally complete a touchdown pass in the NFL?
“Oh man, to finally throw a touchdown like I used to tell my mom when I was like five years old. I was gonna eventually throw a touchdown in the National Football League. I finally got it done. It only took me nine years,” Travis Kelce said.
Thousands of NFL fans followed Kelce’s trip Sunday as she tweeted about each step of her journey. Many asked why her sons didn’t charter a plane for her. In the end, the answer was simple. The men didn’t know what she had planned.
“Well, you know, you have to ask for tickets. So they knew I was going to their games but I don’t think they knew that I was going to both of them [on] the same day,” Kelce said. “You know I was trying to do the impossible see if I couldn’t see both of them.”
“I knew she was gonna try and make both of them,” Travis Kelce said. “But you know just seeing her as happy as she is right now, makes it, it makes everything awesome man. It makes it makes playing this game and having big dreams all worth it man. Because we went out there and had a whole lot of fun today and what better way to do it in front of family man.”
Turns out that Donna’s dream to support both of her sons, after each man reached their own dream of playing in the NFL, was possible after all.
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