A lot of Chiefs players get a lot of shine – including Travis Kelce. But does he really get enough love from the Kingdom?
Charles Robinson @CRob5769
Lead Writer – @ChiefsFocus
Earlier today, I subtly took a jab at other Chiefs-centered blogs for posting articles and content surrounding single tweets. Do I think it’s a cheap way to get extra clicks? Yes. But are there some tweets – or stories and quotes that you find out about through tweets – that deserve their own standalone column?
Yes, there are. And when the subject of the tweet is Travis Kelce – specifically what he said today regarding George Kittle’s comment on his contract situation earlier in the week – we have to take our hats off and appreciate what we have here in the Kingdom.
Charles Goldman (who is a great follow on twitter if you don’t follow him already) put out a pretty stellar article a few moments ago revolving around Kelce’s comments pertaining to – among other things – his love for and commitment to the Chiefs, and his response to George Kittle saying that Kelce’s level of play has surpassed his compensation compared to what other receivers in the league have gotten this offseason.
Kelce went on record after practice today saying “I appreciate Kittle saying that. That’s my guy and he always wants to see every tight end get paid as much as their production is. But at the same time, I signed my contract understanding what I had. I put a lot into this, man. Money, in my mind, is almost secondary at this point in my career. I’m here for the legacy and I’m here to try and make the Kansas City Chiefs the best team possible. That’s my main focus, that’s why I am here.”
I mean, good God.
Could Chiefs Kingdom ask for a better dude to root for? This man has put his entire body on the line for 10 years for the franchise. He’s surpassed franchise great Tony Gonzales in the court of public opinion in Kansas City as the best tight end in franchise history (and some would argue in league history – the numbers may not be there, but the versatility is) and has to be climbing everyone’s ladder as their favorite Chief of all time.
In my official Chiefs group chat, we’ve debated numerous times who would be on a “Chiefs Mount Rushmore” of players. Clearly we highjacked the idea from the guys over at Pardon My Take as well as from the actual mountain that exists in South Dakota (I think), but you get the point. If they blasted sculptures of Chiefs greats onto a rock wall, which 4 would be there?
Unanimous picks include Patrick Mahomes and Derrick Thomas, of course. Some show love to the ground and pound era and throw names like Priest Holmes and Jamaal Charles out there. Most of us are too young to really acknowledge the great like Buchanon, Podolock, Dawson, or Emmitt Thomas. But names like Hali, Houston, Allen, Shields, Roaf, Gonazles – those all get thrown out from time to time.
One name that has, and will most certainly continue, to come up is Kelce. If he’s not a shoe-in with Mahomes and DT after some of the things we’ve seen over the last 10 years, you’re not watching closely enough. Or you’re just an idiot.
In 9 seasons he’s given us 704 catches, 9,006 yards, and 57 touchdowns. But it boils down to much, much more than that. The way Kelce finds open pockets in zone defenses has catapulted the development of Patrick Mahomes from a project QB to the best in the league. Not single handedly, but when you have a “security blanket” that’s also one of the most deadly weapons in the entire NFL, you’re in a good spot as a young QB.
There’s the tangible part of Kelce’s game – the route running, the hip wiggle, the soft hands, the ability to block players in the box and on the outside – he’s more than you could ever ask for in a tight in from a skill perspective.
Then there’s the intangibles. Never were Kelce’s intangibles on display more than the last 13 second of the Divisional Round against Buffalo this past postseason.
“”If they’re playing me like that, that seam is open.”
“Do it, Kelce. Do it, Kelce.”
You know the rest. Completion, Butker kick is good, overtime, and those soft hands we talked about in the back corner of the endzone for the win.
Off the field, his impact is just as pronounced. His 87 and Running foundation has created a safe haven for underprivileged youth in Kansas City and Cleveland to see that there is a world outside of the life they know. Whether it’s crime, poverty, neglect, or a combination of all of them – Kelce has created a foundation that will long outlast his playing career, it will even outlast him through the impact it has on younger generations. He has such a heavy hand in so many philanthropic and community centered events and causes in the Kansas City area it’s hard to even keep up with all of them.
We can appreciate what we have in Patrick Mahomes for probably 10+ more years. But we need to take a step back, amid all of the offseason drama, complaining about what we want and don’t have, and appreciate the fact that we are watching the best tight end the league has ever seen revolutionize the position. We’ve been watching it for a decade. And while I’d love to see him play forever, we’re certainly closer to the end of this great career than we are the beginning.
We’ve watched him go from a smart-ass kid who got flagged for miming a jerk off motion on live TV to a leader of men, a grizzled vet who is still leading the charge in voluntary offseason workouts from an energy and enthusiasm standpoint 10 years into his career.
We’ll never see another Mahomes in Chiefs Kingdom. We’ll never see another Tyreek Hill. But no one in the entire league will see another Travis Kelce. As long as Kelce is a Chief, and the young players get to learn from his example, the present and future will both be bright. We’re lucky to have this man repping our team and our city.