Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce isn't playing in Super Bowl LVIII. However, Kansas Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce still believes he's facing one of his brothers when his team takes the field against the 49ers on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium.
"If last year was the Kelce Bowl, this one is the Tight End [University] Bowl," Kelce told reporters. "I'm still playing against one of my brothers in George Kittle."
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Kittle echoed a similar sentiment, going into great detail explaining why he cherishes his friendship with Kelce as the two prepare to face off on the NFL's biggest stage.
"Travis is a guy who I watched his film when I was in college," Kittle told reporters. "When I ended up trading jerseys with him, it was one of the coolest moments ever. When he said what's up to me in 2018, my second year when we played the Chiefs, I was like, 'Wow, this is one of the coolest days of my life.'
"So I'm a huge fan of Travis Kelce and the fact I've been able to become friends with him, peers with him, run Tight End [University] with him, just get to know him, it's been awesome.
San Francisco 49ers
"For someone I've looked up to, looked up to his game, watched so much of his film. Anything that he says is nice about you; it feels great. He's a fantastic football player. He's probably a first-ballot Hall of Famer. So anything you can get from Travis Kelce it's awesome. And the fact you're friends too, it makes it a little bit sweeter as well."
The palpable chemistry between Kelce and Kittle reared it's head when the pair of dynamic tight ends took the stage together during Monday night's opening ceremony in Las Vegas.
Kelce and Kittle have stamped their places as the preeminent tight ends of their generation, combining for 14 Pro Bowl selections and six First-Team All-Pro nods during their decorated NFL careers.
Kittle put together his third 1,000-yard receiving campaign during the 2023 NFL season, hauling in six touchdowns while claiming First-Team All-Pro honors for the first time since 2019, coincidentally the last time the 49ers appeared in the Super Bowl.
After suffering a heartbreaking loss to Kelce and the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV, Kittle and the 49ers have a chance to complete a full-circle journey four years in the making when these two teams battle it out for the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sunday in Las Vegas.