A Kelce by any other name is just an offensive lineman

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Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, left, and his brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce (62), exchange jerseys following an NFL football game

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, left, and his brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce (62), exchange jerseys following an NFL football game
Image: AP

Welcome to Deadspin’s The Sports Nihilist, where all is for naught and we are but accidental jolts of electrified meat stuck to the surface of a rock in an indifferent universe. Fuck you.


What is a sports family if not a contemporary monarchy? One member of a family makes a name for him/herself, and their sons, grandsons, brothers, sisters, daughters, and even nephews are elevated to a higher level of awareness. The Kelce brothers aren’t even sons of Olympic athletes, and I’m good if I never read another Brotherly Love headline for the rest of my life.

Look, mommy, brothers are playing each other in the Super Bowl

It’s really hard to remove the charisma from Travis and his brother, but every news outlet, sports or otherwise, is making it really difficult to care. It’s not so unbelievable that I need to know their parent’s names, or clap like a happy monkey while reading the ceaseless puff pieces.

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I’m supposed to care about an offensive lineman because he’s related to the best receiving tight end in the NFL? I’m sorry, I thought this was America. We didn’t fight the revolutionary war just to watch hierarchies grow anew.

We need to overthrow the Manning family, or at least force them to skip a generation. Arch, your scholarship is revoked and your playing career is done. Get ready to be a banker or a garbage man because the Mannings’ reign atop ESPN’s newsfeed is over.

Look at Christian McCaffrey. Did the son of a pro receiver really need to be in the NFL, too? You know who could use the assistance of a man-child? The steelworkers of America or whoever is in charge of digging ditches. I was told that Luke McCaffrey would be Nebraska’s next Heisman quarterback, and he sucks. He’s not even a good college receiver at Rice.

I bet this is how the English felt under King Henry XIII or whatever. This is your new leader, and his only qualification is his last name. Fuck all that.

Idol worshiping starts with a last name

New rule: If you’re not better than the athlete who made you famous, you have to change your last name. Sorry, Sterling, you have to drop the Sharpe on account of Shannon. Hey, Cole Anthony, your new NBA name is Cole Jones.

I’m not sure what happens when the son eclipses the father like Steph Curry and Dell. Maybe Dell and Seth have to take their wives’ last names. Wait, that won’t work. Seth is married to Doc Rivers’ daughter, and I don’t think he’s good enough to use that name either.

Perhaps adopting the Brazilian one-name method is a workaround. Pele doesn’t have a last name, and thus we don’t readily know his children.

From now on, there will be no more nepotism. Guys are going to have to earn it like Russell Crowe in Gladiator. You want glory? Kill a fucking tiger before you bleed out from a knife wound and then bring down the emperor in front of a Colosseum full of people who want to see you gruesomely murdered for sport.

The offspring of pro athletes are born not only with a silver spoon but also with golden genes. (OK, that’s not always the case, but for the sake of this column, it’s gospel.) Bronny James didn’t get all of his dad’s 6-foot-10 frame, yet he’s still tall and athletic enough to get a full ride to the college of his choice.

End the hegemony. Stop elevating people because of their last names. Am I the only one who remembers Marcus Vick? Haven’t we heard enough from Jackson Mahomes or Andy Reid’s kids? Think first before you roost in the family tree of sports royalty.

A name only matters as much as you want it to, and for the Sports Nihilist, nothing matters.

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