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Have we been pronouncing ‘Kelce’ wrong for nine years? (Maybe)

The perfect July 14 story has made it to Arrowhead Pride.

NFL: Super Bowl LV-Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Thursday, July 15, 3:35 p.m. Arrowhead Time

Our final update (via FOX4’s Harold Kuntz) shows Travis reiterating what his brother, Jason, said on the radio.

UPDATE: Thursday, July 15, 10:03 a.m. Arrowhead Time

Our friends at Bleeding Green Nation covered Travis’ brother, Jason’s take on the matter, and it seems there may be some truth here.

JASON KELCE: “My brother and I have gone by Kel-SEE our entire lives. And I still remember my dad answering the phone as ‘Ed Kelce’ all growing up when he was on work calls and everything. So, our side of the family has always gone by Kel-SEE. But we have a really small family. We don’t have any first cousins. My grandfather on that side was dead before I was born. So, somehow we got so disconnected with that side. And my dad, at some point when he was working in the steel mills in Cleveland, Ohio, got tired of correcting everybody who was calling him Kel-SEE. Apparently, the ‘correct’ pronunciation, the standard pronunciation is Kelss. That’s what the rest of the family goes by. So, my dad, out of pure laziness completely changed his last name. And now, I think we’re at the point where we’re both riding with Ed Kel-SEE. He’s, for some reason, decided to change it and that’s what we’ve gone by our whole lives. So, we’re kind of separate from the rest of the family in that regard. We’ve gotten plenty of messages and texts since becoming NFL players from extended family members all of the world saying: ‘You’re pronouncing the name wrong!’ So, yeah, that’s the story. But we would honestly go by either one, but I prefer Kel-SEE just because that’s the way I’ve said it my entire life and the way our side of the family has said it.”

RITCHIE: “You prefer Kel-SEE. But you won’t argue with Kelss? Because that’s technically the correct pronunciation by whomever.”

JASON: “No. And I probably inherited a little bit of my dad’s laziness with how you pronounce it. I’m probably just like, yeah, whatever, that’s close enough.”

So it’s actually both!? The more you know.

UPDATE: Wednesday, July 14, 8 p.m. Arrowhead Time

When you can’t trust the player, you go to the player’s mom — in this case, Donna Kelce.


UPDATE: Wednesday, July 14, 4:30 p.m. Arrowhead Time

Travis Kelce finally speaks on the matter.

(Original article, posted Wednesday, July 14, 1:55 p.m. Arrowhead Time)

When the news began making the rounds on Twitter on Tuesday, we at Arrowhead Pride thought it had to be a practical joke or a sham. Had we really been pronouncing the “Kelce” in Kansas City Chiefs tight end “Travis Kelce” wrong since 2013?

The buzz was that it is pronounced “Kelss” rather than “KEL-see” stemmed from Kelce’s December 2020 appearance on Barstool Sports’ “Bussin’ With the Boys” podcast. Fast forward to around the 3:30 mark.

“I’ve got ‘KEL-see’ and I’ve got ‘Kelss,’” said Kelce. “My real name is ‘Kelss,’ so I mean, I just kind of roll with the punches.”

Uh, what?

FOX4’s Howard Kuntz then dug up this clip that was made ahead of the 2020 AFC championship game:

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and running back Clyde Edwards-Healire soon tweeted what we were all thinking.

Digging into how this could have possibly happened, we got as far back as 2007, when Philadelphia Eagles center and Travis’ brother, Jason Kelce, was a member of the University of Cincinnati football team as a walk-on.

The guide reads, “KEL-see,” so when Travis came along in 2008, so too stuck the (very-possibly) incorrect pronunciation — and it made it all the way to 2013, when he was drafted by the Chiefs now nine years ago.

The big question is this: well, what happens now? Is it KEL-see or Kelss? Is this a joke!?*

(*Here’s Jason Kelce in a video from 2011, very clearly pronouncing his name “KEL-see”)

How will you handle the situation?


How will you handle pronouncing Travis Kelce?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    Travis "KEL-see"
    (2149 votes)
  • 14%
    Travis "Kelss"
    (365 votes)
2514 votes total Vote Now

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