By Sam Mcdowell
The Kansas City Star
(TNS)—As he contemplated what he might say to cap a Super Bowl parade in downtown Kansas City, Travis Kelce initially went to his brother for advice. Then he wondered if he should prepare anything at all.
The man responsible for two of the most memorable speeches in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run — one after the AFC Championship Game and the other in front of Union Station — settled on an identical strategy for each of them.
Just wing it.
“None of that was, like, ever thought of,” Kelce said. “I just went up there blind.”
Kelce did reach out to his brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, who gave a passionate and distinctive speech of his own at his team’s Super Bowl parade in 2018. He wore a mummer outfit, a nod to a Philadelphia New Year’s Day parade. Basically, Jason Kelce stole the show in both costume and words that day.
But those words weren’t scripted, he told Travis. That’s all the Chiefs star needed to hear.
“He just went up there and started rambling,” Travis Kelce said during a Zoom video call with reporters, his first time speaking with local media since that moment. “I was like, you know what? I’ll speak from the heart, I guess.”
There were some talking points he planned to hit. Some people he wanted to credit. And he did. Eventually.
But first, Kelce, wearing a WWE championship belt, addressed the obvious.
“I’m wearing about half the beers I’ve been trying to drink,” he quipped, before quarterback Patrick Mahomes jokingly motioned to make sure Kelce didn’t fall off stage.
Then came the only portion Kelce prepared — a congratulations to coach Andy Reid. He mentioned some teammates — Mahomes, Sammy Watkins, Damien Williams and Frank Clark. That was already in his mind before he walked on stage.
“Six (minutes) and whatever left on the clock? Down 10? Pfffft,” he said of the Chiefs’ fourth-quarter comeback in Super Bowl LIV. “We got Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid, baby.”
He added a parting dig to Dee Ford, referencing that this year’s No. 55 managed to stay onsides during the game. He praised the fans of Kansas City. “I love this city to death,” he said.
Kelce said Chiefs president Mark Donovan approached him to let him know his previous time at the microphone — the “You’ve got to fight … for your right … to party!” moment on the AFC Championship stage — would live on. The Beastie Boys song would be played following all future Chiefs touchdowns.
By the way, that came to him last minute, too.
“Going into it with that mentality — not really knowing what I was going to say, but just speaking from the heart and speaking about my teammates — that was the mindset,” Kelce said.