CLEVELAND — Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce never misses a chance to celebrate the successes of his team, and the Cleveland Heights High School graduate was having a great time Sunday night.
Following the Chiefs’ 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, one in which they overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, Kelce did on-field interviews with multiple outlets, including ESPN, and he was as happy has ever to be called a champion.
“Whoo, baby,” Kelce bellowed into the microphone during his ESPN interview. “You gotta fight for your right to Lombardi!”
Channeling his end zone celebrations after scoring touchdowns, Kelce then put both hands behind his hand and imitated some dance moves, much to the delight of those on set.
That was a different spin on the celebration Kelce started after the Chiefs won the AFC Championship Game with a 35-24 victory over the Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on January 19.
Much to the delight of the home fans in Kansas City, Missouri, who were reveling in the Chiefs’ return to the Super Bowl after a 50-year absence, Kelce joined quarterback Patrick Mahomes, safety Tyrann Mathieu, coach Andy Reid and team executives on the podium as they hoisted the Lamar Hunt Trophy and he epically channeled Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, the Beastie Boys, to close out the interview.
“I’ll tell you what, it’s been seven years coming, baby,” Kelce said to CBS Sports announcer Jim Nantz before taking the microphone and continuing his answer. “I’ve learned one thing since I’ve been here, ‘You’ve got to fight for your right to party.’”
Kelce had to wait three-and-a-half quarters in Super Bowl LIV to find the end zone, but with the Chiefs in desperate need of seven points in the fourth period, he delivered in a major way.
One play after drawing a pass interference penalty that gave the Chiefs 20 free yards and set up the Kansas City offense at San Francisco’s one-yard line, Kelce hauled in a touchdown pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
On first-and-goal from the San Francisco one-yard line, Kelce lined up on the right side of the formation, and after Mahomes took the snap under center and used a play-action fake, as well as a rollout, he found his All-Pro tight end open in the end zone.
After Kelce broke free from San Francisco’s defense with an out route toward the sideline, he hauled in the pass, and then, celebrated with his teammates before the extra point try.
A third-round pick of the Chiefs in the 2013 NFL Draft out of the University of Cincinnati, Kelce had his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard receiving season in 2019, as he converted 136 targets into 97 receptions for 1,229 yards and five touchdowns. It was Kelce’s second-most yards in a single season in his NFL career.
During the Chiefs’ run to the Super Bowl Championship, Kelce caught 16 passes for 177 yards and four touchdowns with three of those scores coming in Kansas City’s unprecedented comeback from a 24-point deficit against the Houston Texans in the AFC Divisional Playoffs.