Jason Kelce helps solve recent mystery about pronunciation of last name


We were all enjoying our summers, getting ready for training camp in a couple weeks, when an unexpected controversy was thrown in our laps this week.

All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce — and younger brother of Eagles All-Pro center Jason Kelce — was on the Bussin’ With The Boys podcast this week and casually mentioned that everyone has been saying his last name wrong. For years.

Everyone says “Kell-see”

But Kelce said it’s pronounced “Kelss” and that sent the internet into a tailspin.

Many of Travis Kelce’s teammates were shocked to find out they were pronouncing his name incorrectly for years.

But apparently they weren’t wrong. Or if they were, it’s totally OK.

Jason Kelce called in to 94WIP Thursday morning to speak with Jon Ritchie and James Seltzer and helped explain the mystery that has gripped the internet for the last 24 hours.

“You got it right,” Kelce said. “It’s Kell-see.”


If you go back to listen to Kelce’s Super Bowl parade speech or even a video as he was entering the draft in 2011, he has always pronounced it the way the rest of us have.

Even mom agrees:

So what gives?

“So I’ll give you the story behind why my brother said that,” Kelce said on 94WIP. “My brother and I have gone by ‘Kell-see’ our entire lives and I still remember my dad answering the phone as Ed ‘Kell-see’ all growing up when he was on work calls and everything. Our side of the family has always gone by ‘Kell-see’ and 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 somewhat 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 everyone was calling him ‘Kell-see.’ Apparently the correct pronunciation, the standard pronunciation, is ‘Kelss’ that the rest of the family goes by. But my dad out of pure laziness completely changed his last name. And now I think we’re both at the point where we’re riding with Ed ‘Kell-see.’

“For some reason, he 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, which we’ve gotten plenty of messages and texts since becoming NFL players from extended family members all over the world who have told us, ‘You’re pronouncing the name wrong!’ That’s the story. We will honestly go by either one but I prefer Kell-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.”

So there you have it.

Jason will answer to Kelss or Kell-see, but we can continue to call him by the name he’s made famous in Philadelphia. Crisis averted.

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