CLEVELAND — Before the Kelce brothers, Travis and Jason, were tearing up the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles respectively, they were tearing up their Cleveland Heights lawn.
Their father Ed tells News 5 the boys grew up in a home where Ohio State football was a Saturday staple and the Browns were on Sunday. But when the Browns left Cleveland for Baltimore in 1995 the boys were young, around 6 and 8, and gravitated to other teams never losing touch with the roots of their hometown team.
Ed shared a picture of the boys playing outside both dressed, as many of their generation were, in full Bernie Kosar Cleveland Browns uniforms.
"Their uniforms were their mother's idea, the Bernie uniforms and a great idea," Kelce recalled. "I only mention that to clarify that I'm not smart enough to think of that" he joked.
"They were big fans, they grew into being huge fans of the entire community that is Cleveland, the surrounding 'burbs and everything," he said.
Ahead of this Sunday's matchup between the Cleveland Browns and the Kansas City Chiefs featuring K.C.'s tight-end Travis, we had a surprise for Ed Kelce bringing Bernie Kosar into our zoom conversation.
Here's part of their conversation:
Kosar: Hey Mr. Kelce how are you?
Kelce: Bernie how you doing, how are you?
Kosar: Well I got to tell you that I am so honored and happy that you and Mrs. Kelce had the awesome parenting skills to dress up your boys as #19 for Halloween.
Kelce: I don't know that that was even Halloween, that may have just been before like the Pittsburgh game or something.
Kosar: Well then you really are amazing parents now, just to dress like #19 all days of the year I love that. And we know who you're rooting for this week.
Kelce: Yes, yes, sorry but yeah there's no question about that. I do think this Browns team is the most dangerous team in the NFL right now. They have nothing to lose, they have nothing to prove and they're good. You know I was talking a couple of years, maybe two years ago when they drafted those cornerbacks having gotten [Myles] Garrett the year before that… I said you give this team a couple of years and that defense is really going to shine and that's really what's done the job for them.
Kosar: Well Ed, when you mention we got those cornerbacks, to have Denzel Ward coming back from the COVID virus, for the Browns fans we're a little excited for that for the Chiefs fans and for you with your son Travis doing an awesome job running routes I'm sure you don't want to see all of our defensive backs come back and get healthy just this week.
Kelce: Yeah, that's a good point. All of those guys healthy though will mean more for Travis.
Kosar: When you have weapons like the Chiefs have and you have an awesome man and player like your son Travis who has had 105 catches for over 1,100 yards receiving this year, leading the lead like he is, rest assured I have a feeling there won't be single coverage all day on Travis. He absolutely has earned the respect of the league and double coverage which is awaiting him.
Kelce: Well thank you for your kind words about the boys, I can't tell you how much I appreciate that.
Kosar: You know what you've done with your boys, with Travis and Jason, that the success they've had in their NFL careers but how they never forgot their roots, what they do back in their community, they do back here in Cleveland hats off to you, you should be so proud.
Kelce: Well thank you, thank you it's an equal or not more credit probably should go to Mom… The realization that being a Super Bowl-winning athlete, football player, all the yards Travis has got, the three all-pros that Jason's got they fully understand that none of that makes you a better man. It's how you treat people and how you conduct your affairs in life and I don't have to tell you that's what makes a Dad proud.