Chiefs TE Travis Kelce met with KU Jayhawks after win vs. KSU. What he told the team
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce walked through the southeast tunnel of Allen Fieldhouse and located his courtside seat with 11:40 left in the first half of Kansas’ 90-78 victory over Kansas State on Tuesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.
The Super Bowl-bound Kelce and a friend or two, who decided to watch some college hoops in person early in the week, were fashionably late, with KU leading at that point of the Sunflower Showdown 16-13.
The KU students seated in the lower-level south bleachers noticed Kelce immediately. They chanted, “Kelce, Kelce,” with 9:16 left in the half and KU up 30-19. At that point, Kelce clapped his hands along with the students, looking in their direction with a big smile.
KU’s student section did the Chiefs chant and the chop and, shortly after, the public address announcer recognized Kelce, who received a loud, long ovation from the entire crowd. Kelce waved both arms over his head to pump up the crowd, who watched him on the center videoboard.
After the game, Kelce was escorted to the KU locker room and visited with the Jayhawk team.
“He talked to everybody,” KU coach Bill Self said. “I’ve been around him a little bit (in past). I’m not going to say we’re boys or anything like that. (But) I’ve been around him a little bit.
“The thing that amazes me is he is on top of his craft in a way that very few are in the world and he is great to everybody. He treats everybody the same.”
“He was so excited, and I’m not talking about from a KU fan perspective. He was so excited to be part of the energy (in the building Tuesday),” Self said. “I can’t imagine every defensive player loving him as a teammate (having to go against him in practice). He is fun. I’m sure if things go well in a couple weeks (in the Super Bowl), he’ll be a ton of fun the next month or so after that.”
KU forward Jalen Wilson said he enjoyed the fact Kelce visited the team in the locker room.
“(He told us) to keep pushing, keep getting better,” Wilson said. “They are going for a championship. He was telling us, ‘You know winning one (championship as KU did last season) is good, but winning two is even better.’ It was really cool to see guys like that come and support. You know how much this place supports them. To see them come back is pretty cool.”
Self, by the way, said Kelce was accompanied by a former Chief.
“He had a dude with him, who played for the Chiefs. I can’t remember his name. He played a little while,” Self said, noting that the unidentified ex-Chief said he “came to the KU (hoops) camp in 2005, 06. He said he was a good (hoops) player back in the day. I didn’t remember him.”
Added Self with a smile: “Travis says he switched to the man’s sport and became the best football player. That’s what he said.”
Home of the Jayhawks ... and Chiefs?
The KU fans bellowed “home of the Chiefs” loudly instead of “home of the brave” to conclude the rendition of the national anthem. That altering of the anthem has occurred at virtually every KU game this season and seasons in the past.
The south student section was busy Tuesday. At one point late in the game the students chanted, “Little Brother,” at the Wildcats. After that, they performed the Rock Chalk Chant to conclude the game.
Crowded Allen Fieldhouse
KU officials had to send some fans in the general admission seats to Horejsi Center, home of the KU volleyball team, to watch the game on the video board in that arena, located adjacent to the fieldhouse.
A KU official said more students redeemed their seats Tuesday than seats were available, hence there was overflow in G.A. A hundred or so fans received a $10 refund and $20 voucher for concessions.